Saturday, May 21, 2005
As you can see, Bill makes marvelous customized toys. Are you downcast because DC Direct won't make that "Joe Coyne, the Penny Plunderer" action figure you want? Can't go on without a one-of-kind "Madame Fatal" posable mannekin? Just contact Bill today!
Isn't it REMARKABLE how similar the Manhawks look to Rannian space-helmets?
Same color scheme. Same fin on the top. Both fire laser beams.
Did you ever wonder whether the Manhawks might be a secret genetic experiment of amoral Rannian animal-torturer Sardath? Just an idea.
Dr. Light. Despero. Manhawks. Adam Strange. Nuklon (a.k.a. Atom-Smasher).
Face it: characters with fins on their heads are EVIL. Seven Hells, are you listening? Is this one of your Seven Deadly Signs of Evil?
You'd recognize his "villain name", though; another villain adopted it and became very, very famous...
"If I travel to Eros tonight in my sleep, I must be dressed in my Wonder Woman costume!"
Now, c'mon, DC; don't you think that would sell? Particularly on thongs.
Plus "traveling to Eros" would be the latest euphemism for physical lovemaking!
Friday, May 20, 2005
The good news is, in the last two days nearly 100 people listened to Superhero Radio! Thanks, I'm enjoying it, too.
The bad news is, I have only received a total of $3 in donations (see Pay Pal button at right) to support it.
Even a $1 contribution makes a world of difference; thanks, I appreciate it!
END OF COMMERCIAL
Ladies and gentlemen, the winner in our "Clobbering Batman" poll: Robin, the Boy Wonder.
Coming in a close second was the bitterly disappointed God, the challenger. Sorry, God; you've got almost as much iconic resonance as Robin, but he had irony on his side.
As promised I will forward this message to a certain person of my acquaintance who speaks regularly with certain other people who work at the Marketing Dept. of a certain delightful comic book company.
This small exercise was to prove a point: on every page of every golden, silver, even bronze age DC comic book, there's at least one panel that would look great on ancillary merchandise (you know, magnets, mugs, tees, posters, etc.). Why doesn't DC capitalize on this? Why are there not "365 Days of" desk calendars for every character from Amazo to Zatanna? The Wonder Woman Archives alone contain enough images to put a unique tee-shirt on the backs of every single lesbian and gay man in America.
Just read the gosh-darned (pardon me, ladies) comic book weblogs, DC! What's the one thing almost ALL of them have in common? Excerpted panels and covers, that's what. Alex Ross's mannerly 17th century Dutch paintings of heavily carbohydrated superheroes aren't the only thing people want to see on merchandise, ya know. You own the rights to a nearly inexhaustible supply of images that form part of the bedrock of pop culture; start capitalizing on it. Great Caesar's ghost, just open up a shop at CafePress, start slapping panels on product and see what sells. It doesn't even cost you anything.
Time-Warner seems to have finally awakened to what a property it's got in DC. Unveiling the new DC logo, pushing up release dates on anticipated titles, creating materials relevant to its forthcoming films before the films come out; there's evidence that someone is finally figuring out the main thing that Marvel always far outshone DC in: self-promotion. T-W has managed to shill the Looney Toons characters into gazillion-dollar marketing icons, despite that fact that their only good work was done 50-60 years ago. T-W, take advantage of the forthcoming films on the Big Three, and market your old comic books silly.
Based on the theories of Devon (who erreth not) at Seven Hells, I have determined that this is most evil object in the world.
Speaking of Devon, is there a reason that the good folks at DC Conspiracy aren't working with him to publicize their independent comics? After all, he is the manager of the largest comic book store in the nation's capital.
Speaking of DC Conspiracy, why aren't they linked to Yet Another Comics Blog, who's holy mission is giving away interesting independent stuff to those of us stuck in the two-company shuffle?
And since YACB runs a "Monkey Cover Day", oughtn't they link to Big Monkey Comics?
Then wouldn't Big Monkey link itself to Comic Riot, since both are "reality shows" about what it's like to open your own comic book store?
Don't mind me; just thinking out loud!
Thursday, May 19, 2005
And if further proof is needed of Batman's super-wallop-taking power!
Ya know, Bruce, bloviating with pointless exposition is not a particularly strong tactic again Superman's left hook.
Pre-Crisis Superman's left hook; just think about that for a second. Why is Batman's detached head not sailing toward Antares at this point?
Aquaman, covering his sensitive sonar-ears to block Robin's girlish shrieks as Batman's teeth go flying across the satellite, actually forms a plan. Unfortunately, there are no giant sea turtles in geosynchronous orbit 22,300 miles above the earth.
Flash approves with a thumbs up; he never liked Batman anyway....
"Will nothing stop this man's constant supercilious moralizing!?"
Robin's more literate than people give him credit for.
Robin looks so embarrassed. "Ugh, I should have accepted the offer from Hawkman; I'm the sensational character find of 1940, I could do so much better than this..."
An oldie but a goodie ... and still the Joker's favorite way to get gum off his shoe. Apparently, he's already managed to kick the Bat-logo off Batman's chest.
The Joker's quite limber, isn't he? Must be those yoga classes at Arkham.
Try that maneuver sometime with a friend and see how many tries it takes to send him flying over the bannister or simply snap his spinal cord.
I'd love to go shopping in Gotham, where apparently stores carry purple suede shoes and oversized orange and yellow toppers a-plenty...!
Wednesday, May 18, 2005
The Riddler was very good to Frank Gorshin. Before he got the role, he was, in his own words, a nobody. As the Riddler, he skyrocketed to overnight fame, and became a headliner in Vegas. As a multitalented actor/comedian/impressionist, he never faded into 'has-been status' but maintained a respectable career, capped by his acclaimed performance as George Burns in a one-man show. Unlike some actors who came to resent the typecasting that followed their career-making roles, Gorshin was grateful to the Riddler.
But the reverse is equally true. The Riddler had been around for over a decade before he "met" Frank, and had only managed two appearance and not much notoriety. The Joker, the Penguin, Two-Face, Catwoman; those were Batman's recurring enemies. The Riddler was more like the answer to a trivia question: "What seldom-seen Batman enemy once robbed a bank underwater?"
With Frank's portrayal, the Riddler came to life in a way he never had on paper. The mania that drove him, the nearly unrestrained enthusiasm for his crimesprees and peculiar M.O. made the Riddler the very picture of brilliant obssessive/compulsive (before we even had a word for it, I think). The Riddler became a A-list villian instantly, solely on the strength of Gorshin's bracing performances. So committed was he to his vision of how the Riddler should be, that after John Astin took his place in the role for an episode, Frank was driven to return as the Riddler just to see the character portrayed properly.
The Riddler has had some bumpy patches on his road since then, as inferior and unimaginative writers, unable to rise to the demands of writing such an intellectual villain in a complex way, took the easy way out. Rather than struggling to craft appropriately elaborate schemes and clues for the Riddler, they copped out and wrote him as a buffoon, a has-been, a mere annoyance. Recently, he received a well-deserved redux, and remains a challenging and intriguing villain not just for Batman but for the entire DCU. But that never would have happened without Frank.
They were good for each other, and for us.
Rokara Soh, "Birds of Prey", Animal Man
Hey, Thanagarian art-martyr Rokara Soh didn't have to waste time talking to future plant-food like you and me. Yet he takes the time to stop and help others better understand themselves and their own places in the universe.
That kind of selflessness almost brings a tear to your eye; even Thanagarian villains are so giving!
Tuesday, May 17, 2005
Or, like this "fleeing fiend", you could be a summerstock playwright in a purple hood.
No, really; could I make that up?
Geez, Batman, maybe you should start by taking on the ticket booth girl and then work your way up?
Maybe Rannians aren't so bad. Let's give them a chance.
Oh. There's a Rannian welcoming party now!
About to chop off Superman's head....
Well. At least they found something they can do without asking Adam Strange for help!
"Dude, nobody hits Batman, man."
Well, Dude, here's a news flash: getting hit is what Batman does. A lot.
Have you ever actually see someone punch, say, Aquaman (god help them)? Flash (how?) ? Even Booster Gold (who is 6 foot 5, ya know)? No.
Batman? Taking a wallop is Batman's superpower. Batman gets clobbered in about one of every three stories he's in. And if you stick with me, I'm going to start proving it, because nothing says,"I'm Batman!" like getting wallopped upside the cranium.
Your wish is my command, Jer! The answer is, your typical Supergirl story in 1972 *sigh*, the kind that only E. Nelson Bridwell could have concocted.
Supergirl is clothes shopping (she did that a lot; was she Superman's cousin or Katy Keene's?). A pushy saleslady shoves a pair of sunglasses on her, which, as one would expect in 1972, were mind-control specs devised by a world-conquering alien who says things like, "Silence! A situation has arisen that will permit us to witness this creature's amazing speed and power!" I just love it when villains say, "Silence!"
Supergirl is forced to trick Clark Kent into wearing a pair of mod mindbending eyewear and he in turn tries to foist them upon the JLA. The plot might seem familiar, because one of the Star Trek the Next Generation writers remembered the issue and lifted the plot entirely for a Wesley-saves-the-day episode (Hi, Wil!).
There's also a soul-renching subplot of familial conflict between the alien conqueror, his brother, and a fuzzy magenta subhuman. I know I wept.
Like many circa-1972 stories, you could devote one entire weblog to exploring its wackiness and nothing else for an entire year...
Monday, May 16, 2005
As recent readers, will remember, the Absorbascon recently freaked out at the incomprehensible gibberish about Sub Diegans breathing water instead of oxygen. Kindly Dr. Scott of Polite Dissent answered my cry for help and has issued a second opinion.
Dr. Scott agrees with Dr. Aquaman. Dr. Scott, I owe you a new lab coat!
In case, you don't recognize it, that's the boot of Albert Rothstein, a.k.a. Atom-Smasher, from JSA #56, about to shmush Asim Muhunnad, the leader of Kandaq. Not a distant, "oops, did I just step on an ant?" kind of shmushing, but a, "gosh, even through my size 142 boot I can feel his 200 plus bones cracking, and does anyone have rag with which to wipe his guts off my heel?" kind of shmushing. This wasn't a UN-sanctioned intervention, or a multi-national anti-terrorist coalition sort of outing. It was more of a "hey, let's the six of us overthrow a dictator this weekend, because we're superpowerful and can do whatever we want, and then throw a kegger" kind of outing.
The most recent JSA issue ended in a cliffhanger, with the JSA about to announce whether they would accept Atom-Smasher back. Is this the kind of person you want in the JSA? [Vote in the Absorbascon poll!]
If we need an Atom legacy in the JSA (and we do), let's pick the right person: Damage, who is the original Atom's son. He's in the Freedom Fighters at the moment, but he's redundant with the Human Bomb, so move him to the JSA. Atom-Smasher, with his history of stupid names, costumes, and behavior is at the end of his time as a hero. He was one of the Infinitors, who were the "stand-ins", the inheritors of the JSA legacy while they were away. Well, now the JSA is back, and Albert clearly doesn't belong. The other Infinitors have all moved on or passed away; now it's Albert's turn.
What do you think?
Okay. So my beloved Thanagar lost IN MY OWN POLL. Even though 4 out of 5 comic book blogs side with Thanagar. *Sigh* Adding insult to injury, Rannians are even winning in my poll about Krypto's theme song. *Choke* *Sob*
But I'm not bitter. Oh, no. I promise to defend all Absorbasconners, even Rannie-sympathizers, against destruction when our new avian overlords take over this planet. I'll even make sure you get to bunk together at Thanagarian Re-Education Camp.
MEANWHILE... by way of a warning, consider the above panel.
Batman, billionaire sophicate, babe-magnet, and hero-about-town, sides with Hawkman of Thanagar. Batman stars in 17 different titles, has two concurrent cartoon series, and is about to star in his sixth major motion picture.
Barry Allen, geeky comic-book-collecting bow-tie-wearing goober, sides with Adam Strange of Rann. Where's Barry now, huh?
Oh, and then there's meathead-in-the-middle Hal Jordan, advocating for the guy who laters kills him by shooting an arrow through his heart. Don't any of these people even read their own previews?
Well, someone got really snitty when their fashion eye-wear suggestions were rejected! What superhero said this to the rest of the Justice League?
Sunday, May 15, 2005
The Absorbascon has determined that, as unlikely as it may seem, these young men are the singers of the theme to "Krypto the Superdog", which, whether you like it or not, probably runs through your head an average of once a day. Just like it's doing RIGHT NOW.
They are At Last, and seem like nice, earnest young folk. If they (or anyone else) would like to supply me with an mp3 of Krypto's infectious ditty, I'd be delighted to put in on Superhero Radio.