Ho ho ho ho, it's time for another holiday special!
This year we take a look at the DCU Infinite Holiday Special from 2006 featuring stories about Green Lantern, Supergirl, Batwoman, Shadowpact, Flash, Superman, and... Shazam? Let's just say the card is subject to change.
Then we continue the Knightfall storyline in Detective Comics #659 where the Ventriloquist tries a bunch of new hand puppets!
Next Time: Super Mario Manga Mania
Instead of reading comics, we thought we'd put a focus on watching cartoons for this episode so that we could look back at some of Kevin Conroy's best work as the voice of Batman in some of his favorite episodes.
First, we cover an episode titled "Perchance to Dream" from Batman the Animated Series where Bruce Wayne dreams of a life with his parents still alive. Then "This Little Piggy" from Justice League Unlimited, where wonder Woman gets turned into a pig and Batman has to save her.
Then we jump into Knightfall proper with the first episode of the Broken Bat Saga in Batman #492 where lots of villains have just been freed from Arkham!
It's been a while but we finally revisit the Age of Apocalypse with the next miniseries on our list, X-Calibre, which is basically the Nightcrawler and Mystique show.
It's got pirates and senseless murder and piles and piles of dead bodies. Cool.
Then we start our longread of Batman: Knightfall with a special Vengeance of Bane one-shot that tells us about how Bane was sentenced to prison as a baby. Wait, that can't be right...
Next Time: We break format to remember Kevin Conroy with a pair of animated TV episodes
Plus we start Batman: Knightfall properly with Batman #492
With Namor appearing in the movies soon for the first time in Black Panther, we go waaaaay back in the past to 1939 to read the first appearance of the Sub-Mariner in Marvel Comics #1, published back when they were called Timely Comics.
Then we read the Namor stories from Marvel Mystery Comics #7-10 to see him attack New York and fight the Human Torch and basically be the biggest a-hole of all time. It's very entertaining!
Then we finish our tour through the life of Earth-2's Batman with Brave and the Bold #197, in which Batman recalls the way he and Catwoman fell in love.
As the spooky season nears its end, we take a look at some various scarious one-offs.
First up is Spider-Man: The Short Halloween, a comedy one-shot by SNL's Bill Hader & Seth Meyers.
Then we go back to some classic 80's X-Men when Storm turned into a vampire in issue #159, and then again when Dracula returns in X-Men Annual #6.
Then we continue our trip to Earth-2 with The Brave and The Bold #182 where Earth-1 Batman teams up with Earth-2 Robin!
The spooky season creepiness continues as we revisit Locke and Key with Volume 3: Crown of Shadows. We've got ghosts, dead bodies, and weird teenagers trying to go to a Muse concert. Scary stuff!
Then we continue our trip through Earth-2 with Adventure Comics #462 where we see the death of Earth-2 Batman to one of the most infamous villains of all time.
Next Time: Spider-Man: The Short Halloween + Storm Turns Into a Vampire (Uncanny X-Men #159 & Annual #6)
The spookiest of seasons is upon us, so we decide to take a look at one of Marvel's spookiest comics: Tomb of Dracula! We know this character's not very well known, so we read issues #10-15 which include the first appearance of Blade, a much more popular character.
Plus we get Dracula doing all of his trademark moves like steering a boat and calling his enemies up on the phone.
Then we continue our Earth-2 journey with JLA #160 which features a panel where The Atom is lying on a giant hospital bed. That's all I remember about it. And dinosaurs.
She-Hulk has her own show! And it seems to take a lot of inspiration from the Dan Slott run that we visited a while back.
We dive back into it with Volume 3: Time Trials, which collects #1-5 from the 2005 She-Hulk series. There's cowboys, jealousy, and time cops: the three perfect ingredients in any story.
Then we read our next Earth-2 book with a JLA/JSA team-up in Justice League of America #159.
Next Time: Blade's Origins with Tomb of Dracula #10-15 + Justice League of America #160
We haven't quite hit spooky season yet but we really wanted to get back into some Swamp Thing, so we're diving back into Alan Moore's run from the 80's with the 3rd collected volume which covers issues #35-42.
The series takes on a bit of a different form with the first appearance of Constantine as he sends Swamp Thing on freak-of-the-week adventures around the US.
Then we get into some multiverse shenanigans as we start a scattered new long-read focused on Earth-2 heroes. First up is DC Super-Stars #17, featuring the origin of Batman and Catwoman's daughter: Huntress!
Next Time: She-Hulk (2005) #1-5 (Time Trials) and Justice League of America #159
With the recent passing of Alan Grant, we take a look back at some of the 80's Batman he wrote alongside John Wagner in Detective Comics #583-586, which feature the first appearances of Scarface & The Ventriloquist in the first story and then The Ratcatcher in the next.
They're two quick, fun Batman stories that go down smooth, with nice art by Norm Breyfogle too!
Then we finish our read of Superman For All Seasons by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale with issue #4: Winter! Superman gets his groove back by making a snow angel and stopping a classic winter flood.
It's been a while since we read a Vertigo book, so with today's episode we take our first foray into Jason Aaron and R. M. Guera's Scalped, a Native American noir book with lots of rich history to play off of.
It's a book filled with a bunch of assholes who all hate each other. Classic!
Then we continue our read of Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale's Superman For All Seasons with issue #3, the Fall issue, which takes a slightly different approach than the first two issues did.
Next Time: We remember comics writer Alan Grant with Detective Comics #583-586.
We've got Turtle Fever! The new TMNT game reminded us how great the Ninja Turtles are, so we go back to Eastman and Laird's original series to read the now classic Return to New York story from issues 19-21. Why is it so classic? There's a worm-filled Shredder. Nuff said.
We then continue our long-read of Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale's Superman for All Seasons with issue #2, the Summer issue. It's hot outside too! How topical!
Next Time - Scalped: Indian Country by Jason Aaron & R.M. Guera
A couple years ago we read the Ocarina of Time manga, so we thought we'd revisit the Zelda series with the sequel, Majora's Mask.
Zelda's not even in this story and Link might be dead, or maybe dreaming, or maybe he just fell in a big hole. We're not sure, but we know there are monkeys and that's cool.
We also start our next long-read: the 4-part Superman for All Seasons by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale, in which we get a nice little retelling of Superman's origin.
Next Time: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Return to New York (#19-21)
Our streak of non-superhero comics continues with one of the newest comics we've ever covered on the show: Neil Gaiman's Chivalry which was released just two months ago!
Well, technically it's a short story he wrote in the 90's, but it was just adapted to comics by Colleen Doran and it's a real beauty. Plus it makes us fumble our way through Arthurian mythology, what's not to love?
Then we move onto the finale of the Korvac Saga in Avengers 177 in which waaaaay too many Avengers get killed.
Next Time: The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask manga by Akira Himekawa and Superman: For All Seasons #1
We're reading a bit of a different superhero team today with the first volume of Alan Moore & Kevin O'Neil's League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, which brings together British literary figures from the late 1800s. It's better than the movie! We promise!
We're also very near the end of the Korvac Saga as the Avengers take a bus out to see him in Avengers #176.
Next Time: Neil Gaiman's Chivalry
We're getting a little burned out on superheroes, so to change things up we're reading an adaptation of a crime novel written by a prolific novelist under one of his many pseudonyms.
That's right, it can only be Richard Stark's Parker: Slayground by Darwyn Cooke! Cooke adapted 4 of these stories and we're reading the final one where our protagonist uses an abandoned amusement park setting to elude some evil mobsters.
Then we continue The Korvac Saga with Avengers #175 in which nobody is really sure what to do!
Next Time: The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
It's time to take our first trip to Marvel's 2099 universe and meet Miguel O'Hara aka Spider-Man 2099. He's ruder than OG Spider-Man and he has a drug addiction problem to boot (technically not his fault).
We read the first 6 issues of this series from 1992 before continuing our Korvac Saga long read with Avengers 174. Korvac actually shows up! And he explodes Benicio del Toro!!!
Next Time: Slayground by Richard Stark adapted by Darwyn Cooke
We're back in the Age of Apocalypse! This time we're reading the 4-issue Factor X miniseries that heavily focuses on Scott & Alex Summers, aka Cyclops and Havok.
Turns out Havok is a real jerk who wants to kill his brother. Rude!
We also get to know the evil mad scientist version of Beast who just wants to run genetic experiments on everything. Major creep.
Then we continued the Korvac Saga with Avengers #173. Michael Korvac actually makes an appearance in this one!
Next Time: Spider-Man 2099 (1992) #1-6
We're getting into April and we had the idea that we would read some... not great comics this month. Because April Fools Day or something. It's gonna be the worst tradition ever.
We're starting with Fear Itself, a Marvel event from 2011 which is basically Thor vs a snake. We have issues with it.
We then continue our read of the Korvac Ultron Saga with Avengers #171.
Next Time: All Star Batman & Robin, the Boy Wonder #1-6 by Frank Miller & Jim Lee
For today's episode, we're entering one of the most lore-heavy comic book universes out there... a world we've never delved into before... Sonic the Hedgehog.
We're specifically reading the Endgame storyline from issues #47-50 in the original Archie Comics run so that we can get a nice little taste of everything the universe has to offer. It's a lot.
We then continue our read of the Korvac Saga with Avengers #170, in which it doesn't feel like the Korvac Saga has really started yet because we're busy dealing with Ultron.
Next Time: Fear Itself by Matt Fraction & Stuart Immonen
In this week's episode, we check out the origin of Batman's famous sidekick, Dick Grayson aka the first Robin!
Wait, I thought we were reading the 2nd half of Batman: Dark Victory... this episode was supposed to be issues 7-13. We were gonna find out who the Hangman Holiday killer was and how it relates to Batman, Two-Face, and all the Gotham mob families.
Oh, that all happens too, I see.
We also continue the Korvac Saga with Avengers #168 in which Captain America acts like a major asshole.
Next Time: Sonic the Hedgehog: Endgame (Sonic (1993) #47-50) + The Korvac Saga #4 (Avengers #170)
Remember about 6 years ago when we read Batman: The Long Halloween about a serial killer who strikes on major holidays?
Well it's time for the sequel, Batman: Dark Victory, which is about a serial killer... who strikes on major holidays. Cool. It's a 13-issue series, technically 14 since there's a little prequel issue, but we start off by just reading #0-6.
Then we go onto The Korvac Saga in Avengers #167, which includes a fashion show! Fun!
Next Time: We finish up Dark Victory!
It's been quite a while since we caught up with Ed Brubaker's run on Captain America. Last time around we discovered that the Winter Soldier is Bucky. And this week we read the next part of that run in Captain America #15-17 and then the Captain America 65th Anniversary Special. There's a big cool robot in it.
And then it's finally time for the last chapter of The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck where Huey, Dewey, and Louie finally get to meet their great uncle!
Next Time: We return to the Age of Apocalypse with Astonishing X-Men (1995) #1-4