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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Crisis On Infinite Midlives Show Episode 150: My Pine Weasel Is Out

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.

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Crisis On Infinite Midlives Show Episode 149: The Joe Dirt Cinematic Universe

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.

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Crisis On Infinite Midlives Show Episode 148: Home Movies in the Man Cave, or: Neglecting the Button

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.

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Crisis On Infinite Midlives Show Episode 147: iPatch

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.

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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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