Crisis On Infinite Midlives Show Episode 165: Whiskey Tango Motherbox

Justice League was released to theaters in the United States last weekend, and, to put it mildly, it underperformed. In the same way that the Atlanta Falcons underperformed in last year’s Super Bowl.

Sure, there was a lot of weird buzz about reshoots and rewrites and new directors surrounding the movie, but none of that answers the question: was it any good? And did it deserve to underperform as compared to, say, Batman Vs. Superman, or Suicide Squad?

So we discuss the movie: what worked, what didn’t, what could have been improved, and why we think it didn’t do nearly as well as Suicide Squad, let alone The Avengers. We also talk about ways forward for a cinematic universe that includes starts with Superman killing a guy, and ends, for now, with redacted, under cover of darkness, robbing a damn grave.

This episode was recorded live to tape, so if you want to find out why Amanda think Aquaman went to Bowdoin, you’ve come to the right place!

Crisis On Infinite Midlives Show Episode 164: Get Opie

There’s a new Thor movie out. If history were a guide, this would excite us not at all. While we have been, and still generally are, fully in the tank for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, we have not seen any of the Thor movies in an actual movie theater, and that’s saying something considering we did see The Incredible Hulk in our local theater.

Thor: Ragnarok, however, promised to combine Thor with the most important elements of Greg Pak’s Planet Hulk, which we did like. So we made our way to the theaters this weekend, and we spend a good chunk of the episode talking about the flick. Did we like it? Was there more to it than just the thrill of seeing Hulk in full gladiator dress with his Warbound? Is there anything there to make us care about Asgard? Does the movie make the living envy the Doug? Tune in and find out!

We also discuss:

  • The Jetsons #1, written by Jimmy Palmiotti with art by XXXXX, and:
  • Captain America #1, written by Mark Waid, with art by Chris Samnee!

This episode was recorded live to tape, so if you want to know why Rob has the completely wrong idea about what it means to get romantic with a guitar, you’re in luck!

Crisis On Infinite Midlives Show Episode 163: Batgirl’s Gap Year

We are now fully into Marvel’s Legacy initiative to step back from years of event overload and senseless character deaths, and to reintroduce simpler, more classic versions of the character back into the monthly issues. And as we glory in the reintroduction of series’ original numbering, and the inclusion of classic Stan Lee / Funky Flashman-esque Mighty Marvel Marching Society hype into each issue, we also wonder: where the hell are the simpler, classic versions of the characters?

In that vein, we talk about:

  • Invincible Iron Man #593, written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by Stefano Caselli and Alex Maleev, and
  • The Mighty Thor #700, written by Jason Aaron with art by almost everyone.

But Marvel is not the only one reintroducing older characters, so we also discuss:

  • The WildStorm #8, written by Warren Ellis with art by Jon Davis-Hunt, and
  • Mage: The Hero Denied #3, written and drawn by Matt Wagner!

This episode was recorded live to tape, meaning that you will learn the reasons why we would treat Marvel Legacy: Starfox in the way we would 80s VHS porn!

Crisis On Infinite Midlives Show Episode 162: Hey Girl, Are You An Electric Sheep?

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!

Crisis On Infinite Midlives Show Episode 161: Forbush Man: The Motion Picture

With everything that’s been going on at the Crisis On Infinite Midlives Home Office (goodbye flood, hello nine-foot curtain hanging!), we’ve been a little late to the party on Marvel’s latest Netflix series, The Defenders. Again, this is purely because of unrelated life events, and is in no way related to the fact that the final count for Rob falling asleep through Iron Fist, Marvel’s last Netflix series, stands at six. And that’s not a final count, because it includes the final episode. But we digress.

This past weekend, we finally caught Marvel’s second attempt at putting together a filmed superhero team, and we discuss the effort. Including what worked, what was fun and interesting and surprising, why Netflix can’t seem to create a superhero series of ANY length that doesn’t feel like it’s dragging in the middle, and why Iron Fist is the Poochie of filmed superhero drama.

We also discuss:

  • Action Comics #987, written by Dan Jurgens, with art by Viktor Bogdanovic, and
  • Mr. Miracle #2, written by Tom King with art by Mitch Gerads!

This show was recorded live to tape. Which is why you will learn the etymology of the phrase “Kneel before Zuck!”

Crisis On Infinite Midlives Show Episode 160: Rye and Moxie and a Little Cranky

It was yet another berserk week at the Crisis On Infinite Midlives Home Office, with more workmen in the house, the building of massive shelving that, Tardis-like, is somehow bigger on the inside, and family members evacuating South Florida to escape Hurricane Irma… before turning around to drive right back into Hurricane Irma. Let’s just say there might be a genetic component to why Rob never seems to think things through.

As such, this week hasn’t been conducive to a well prepared episode. For which we apologize, but we saw a few things we wanted to talk about. We finally saw the first season of Alan Tudyk’s Con Men as it premiered on the SyFy Channel, as discussed how it reflects and makes fun of actual convention culture.

We also caught the first episode of Seth MacFarlane’s The Orville, which is a weird show by the creator of Family Guy in that it’s a riff on Star Trek that will make Star Trek fans crazy with rage, and that will make Family Guy fans baffled and confused.

We also discuss Spider-Man #20, written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by Nico Leon, and Venomverse #1, written by Cullen Bunn with art by Iban Coello!

This episode was recorded live to tape. So if you ever wanted to know why Star Trek conversations with Rob and Amanda quickly turn to Romulan Ale, here’s your answer!

Crisis On Infinite Midlives Show Episode 159: Cthulhu Sausage

We are back, after a lengthier-than-expected parental visit, an unexpected recording studio flood, extended remediation of water damage, and a certain amount of recording equipment replacement and testing. So please: be gentle.

While the ratings were abysmal (meaning you may well not have watched it), this week gave us the first planned ending to Twin Peaks ever, after 27 years. And, since Rob is a huge fan, and maintains with a straight face and a certain vehemence that Twin Peaks has a lot in common with comic book storytelling (this week’s finale alone gave us time travel, dimensional teleportation, evil twins, and a dude defeating evil by punching it to death with a green Hulk fist), we discuss the series as a whole. We talk about what worked for fans and non-fans (hi, Amanda!), whether the visual beauty was worth the sometimes terrible pacing, if the wait for the return of Special Agent Dale Cooper was worth it, and whether the ending was yet another unsatisfying cliffhanger, or just enough to tell us what we really need to know.

This is, however, a comics podcast, so we also dive into another ending: Secret Empire #10, written by Nick Spencer with art by Steve McNiven, Rod Reis, David Marquez, Paco Medina, and anyone else needed to keep this mess on schedule. Like Twin Peaks, this is a story where we’ve waited literally years for the return of its hero, where the theme requires buying into weird metaphysics with rules that are seemingly made up as they go along, and where the ending can dictate whether it was worth the infuriating journey or just a waste of time.

This episode was recorded live to tape. So if you ever wanted to know why no one in college would watch Twin Peaks with Rob, here’s your chance to find our why!

Crisis On Infinite Midlives Show Episode 158: SDCC 2017 Wrap-Up, or: Hall H Can Smell Your Fear

We are back and recovered from San Diego Comic Con 2017. SDCC is a show we’ve attended more than almost any other, and yet this year it seemed, I don’t know… bigger. More oppressive. More willing to empty your wallet and leave you for dead, while showing you genre spectacle you couldn’t get with an all access pass to Industrial Light and Magic.

So after recovering (and even the recovery from Con Crud seemed more difficult than past years), we were joined by longtime SDCC attendee, Los Angeles comedian Gariana Abeyta, to talk about being assaulted by childrens’ strollers on the floor, taking revenge by trampling young cosplayers on the way to ask panel questions, the horrors of Hall H (and how they compare to the horrors of a malfunctioning RFID badge), “Resting Crime Face,” and whether the experience is still worth the time, planning, exhaustion and literally thousands of dollars it can take to attend.

Oh yeah: we also have the panel audio of Rob asking Nick Lowe about the status of Miracleman.

As a reminder: this show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. Take a look at the episode’s title, and know that fear is not the only convention smell we discuss. Get yourself some headphones.

Crisis On Infinite Midlives Show Episode 156: SDCC 2017 Part 1, or: Live Your Truth, Just Not on My Pants

The first official day of San Diego Comic-Con 2017 was yesterday, and we are doing shows live (to tape) from the belly of the beast.

Being our first day back to SDCC in three years, we discuss what’s changed in the intervening time, including a brand new requirement to bend the knee and pledge fealty to Rick Grimes. We also discuss some of our strategies for working the floor, some interesting observations about the state of the convention, and some protips on how to ask a question at a panel (The protip being to ask a question, and remember that your life story is not a question).

We also discuss some observations and news tidbits from the Karen Berger / Paul Levitz panel, and the DC Meet the Publishers panel!

And a few points to remember:

  • We encoded this episode at a slightly lower bitrate than usual. We did this to try to save bandwidth and to ensure we’d have enough space to deliver episodes from San Diego Comic-Con. So we apologize if the sound isn’t quite as clean as it usually is. Luckily, you don’t need a lot of bits to record drunken profanity.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work.
  • While we will be uploading podcasts periodically throughout the convention, you should follow us on Facebook for uploads of photos and other media we grab during SDCC.

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Crisis On Infinite Midlives Show Episode 156: Weaponized Continuity, or: Michael Keaton’s Rhinoceros

We’re a little late to the party when it comes to Spider-Man: Homecoming, which opened a week and a half ago to the tune of 200 million dollars and 93% on Rotten Tomatoes. But late or no, there’s a lot to unpack in the movie, given that it’s the third reboot of the cinematic Spider-Man, which is a lot for a franchise that’s barely as old as its fifteen-year-old protagonist.

So we invited special guests – comedians Ross Garmil and Benari Poulten – to talk with us about it. And we dig into how Tom Holland stacks up against earlier actors, both as Peter Parker and as Spider-Man, whether there’s a place in classic Spider-Man for a costume that speaks with the voice of Jenny from The Rocketeer, how Michael Keaton stacks up against Marvel’s other (admittedly normally poor) cinematic villains, whether Spider-Man joked enough, and whether Tony Stark had any reasonable place in this movie that wouldn’t possibly hurt the plot.

Ah, the disclaimers:

  • We encoded this episode at a slightly lower bitrate than usual. We did this to try to save bandwidth and to ensure we’d have enough space to deliver episodes from San Diego Comic-Con later this week. So we apologize if the sound isn’t quite as clean as it usually is. Luckily, you don’t need a lot of bits to record drunken profanity.
  • This show contains spoilers. While we try to shout out warnings ahead of time, just assume that we will be ruining the entirety of Spider-Man: Homecoming, plus Guardians of The Galaxy 2 and maybe Batman V. Superman just for giggles.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. At one point, we talk about Nickelback. If you think the swearing doesn’t come out there, you’re delusional. Listen with headphones.

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Crisis On Infinite Midlives Show Episode 155: Unicorn Dingleberries

We are mere days away from San Diego Comic-Con 2017, which will be the first we’ve attended and covered in the past three years. To say we’re excited would be a massive understatement, and we’re putting together our plans to cover the show and record and release short episodes directly from the con.

But figuring out what to cover means knowing what’s there. The convention released the complete programming schedule last week, and we spent some time poring over it, finding not only the panels we’re hoping to cover for some comics news, but some ones that are just plain cool-looking… plus a few that clearly exist only to give someone’s nephew’s best friend who’s also an agent a bone in exchange for getting someone you actually heard of to show up.

And, as always, the disclaimers:

  • We encoded this episode at a slightly lower bitrate than usual. We did this to try to save bandwidth and to ensure we’d have enough space to deliver episodes from the convention. So we apologize if the sound isn’t quite as clean as it usually is. Luckily, you don’t need a lot of bits to record drunken profanity. Speaking of which:
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. Rob places over-under odds on many aspects of Comic-Con in this episode. Some of those odds might relate to bodily fluids and / or distance. If you’re going to be around anyone civilized, get some headphones.

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Crisis On Infinite Midlives Show Episode 154: Contractually Obligated to be Family Friendly

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.

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Crisis On Infinite Midlives Show Episode 153: Ultron Oompa Loompas

Some weeks, you don’t record a podcast when you’re ready. You record when you’re awake.

Rob had a long weekend of late nights being on call for his day gig, leading to a slim, two-hour window where he’d had enough coffee to be able to say something longer than his own name, yet not enough liquor to actively slur those things. And this strange state put him in a mood to rant. About the golden days of Marvel after the bankruptcy and before Civil War, when they were willing to take chances. About acceptable Mark Millar stories. About how Batman’s most driving personality trait might be hoarding. And, God help us, how there might be redeeming qualities to Secret Empire.

So strap in: this is a weird one, and we talk about all of those things, plus:

  • Old Man Logan #25, written by Ed Brisson with art by Mike Deodato, Jr.,
  • Secret Empire #4, written by Nick Spencer with art by Leinil Francis Yu,
  • Dark Days: The Forge #1, written by Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV, with art by Jim Lee, Andy Kubert and John Romita Jr., and:
  • The Defenders #1, written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by David Marquez!

Ah, we have disclaimers:

  • This show contains spoilers. If you don’t want to know Captain America’s political affiliation on Secret Empire, well, you’re not alone, but you have also been warned.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. We talk about Batman being a Howard Hughes style hoarder. That involves Mason Jars. You want your mom to know what’s in those jars? Then get some earbuds.

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Crisis On Infinite Midlives Show Episode 152: Are You A Kandorian or A Kant-dorian?

We are in a genre entertainment lull. A week after Wonder Woman debuted in theaters, three weeks before Spider-Man: Homecoming opens, and with all the geek TV shows on summer hiatus, there’s not a lot to talk about except the comic books.

So we stick with comics this week, and we are thankful that we don’t have to deal with a week of DC Comics trying to shoehorn classic comics from the 80s into modern continuity. Instead, we weep that we have to deal with DC Comics trying to shoehorn classic comics from the 80s into some weird Elseworlds continuity they probably hope they can sell to people who remember Frank Miller without thinking of Holy Terror.

So we discuss:

  • DK III: The Master Race #9, written by Frank Miller and Brian Azzarello, with art by Andy Kubert and Klaus Janson,
  • Wonder Woman Steve Trevor Special #1, written by Tim Seeley with art by Christian Duce,
  • Batman #24, written by Tom King with art by David Finch, and:
  • The Walking Dead #168, written by Robert Kirkman with art by Charlie Adlard!

And, the normal disclaimers:

  • This show contains spoilers. If you don’t want to know who Steve Trevor is sleeping with, you are clearly not thinking things through. But don’t pretend we didn’t warn you.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. We don’t talk about Batman’s dance belt because of his waistline. Listen with some headphones.

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Crisis On Infinite Midlives Show Episode 151: It’s Method. I Have To Do This.

While Patty Jenkins’s Wonder Woman was certainly the big comics movie of the week, we start off talking about, of all things, M. Night Shyamalan’s five month old movie Split. We talk about it because, well, we weren’t expecting it to be a comic book style story, and were extremely surprised to find it so. Mostly we were surprised because we spend a lot more time paying attention to comic book news Web sites than we do movie Web sites.

But we do spend an extended period of time discussing Wonder Woman, a movie that only had to pass the bar of, “Please God, don’t be terrible” to satisfy us, and wound up being one hell of a lot better than that. We talk about Gal Godot’s performance, why the World War I setting worked out far better than its probable “Let’s not be too close to Captain America” origins, whether or not Ares really had a place in the movie, and Rebel Wilson. For some reason.

We also discuss:

  • Secret Empire #3, written by Nick Spencer with art by Andrea Sorrentino (No, we can’t seem to stop talking about Secret Empire), and:
  • Redneck #2, written by Donny Cates with art by Lisandro Estherren!

And, as usual, the disclaimers:

  • This show contains spoilers. If you don’t want to know the big secret behind Split, then skip to about 20 minutes in, and for the love of God, don’t click that link about five paragraphs up. You know, the one you probably already clicked.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. We talk about Lex Luthor’s method acting in this episode. Sounds benign, doesn’t it? You, and your employer, would be very surprised. Listen with headphones.

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