Saturday, December 03, 2005

Off Target on Green Arrow

I know I'm asking for it when I say this, but .... I just don't get Green Arrow.

I can understand (believe it or not) why people are into Hal Jordan; he's just not my kind of guy. But Green Arrow? I don't get how he can be anybody's kind of guy.

I know Green Lantern has lots of fans (oh, I hear from them!). But I was shocked (no, really, I'm not being snide here) to find that Green Arrow has lots of them, too.

The Green Arrow Compendium, The Green Arrow Message Board, Green Arrow Fansite, good reviews, the Green Arrow fanlisting, he Green Arrow Fan Film site (gulp!) which is actually on IMDB, a potential real Green Arrow movie (gulp gulp!). Even our friend Brad Meltzer likes Green Arrow; go figure.

I was suprised because my perceptions of Green Arrow are that he went from being a wan Batman-manque` to being an annoying, conceited, self-righteous, hypocritical womanizing jerk, without much in between. At what point could someone get to like him?

Characters like that can be interesting. And useful, particularly when used to illuminate the personality and viewpoint of others. But that's pretty much how I see him, more as a device for revealing the characters of those around him, rather than an independent figure in his own right.

So, I'm not saying he's useless, or should be donated to Marvel or anything. I'm just saying I don't understand how anyone can actually like Oliver Queen himself.

I await, without snark, any explanation my readers have!

Friday, December 02, 2005

Batshopping

Well, it's the holiday shopping season! Time to brave the downtown crowds or shopping malls. Cheer up! It could be worse; you could be Batman...


You think you've got it tough? Try picking a gift for someone who can turn lumps of coal in diamonds, particularly in the Gotham malls, which are crowded with depression-era street toughs and footpads shopping for bosses who will kill them if they don't like their gift.

"Pardon me, citizen; I was about to buy that item for my friend, the Man of Steel."

"Nice outfit. Well, yer boyfriend is gonna hafta settle fer sumpthin' else, bud; this one's mine."

"Holy hardcases, Batman! That's the last set of earmuffs in Superman's size!"

"Thank you, Boy Wonder, I know. Sir, I implore you in the name of all that it is decent -- yield that loot.

"Gosh, yes, or we'll hurl our batarangs!"

"Okay, buddy, I'm about to sic store security on you and yer 'boy wonder' if you don't back off now."

"My apologies, sir; it's merely Robin's youthful yuletide enthusiasm. Here; shake; and no hard feelings."

Thud.

"Holy heart failure! What's wrong with him, Batman?"

"It's alright, Robin; just a topical neurotoxin hidden in my gauntlet. He'll regain motor control before the mall closes. Quickly -- grab the muffs, chum; we haven't one moment to lose. "

Thursday, December 01, 2005

What "Green Lantern" is Missing

I really am enjoying the new Green Lantern series (probably because I'm a boring person; I'm told boring people like Geoff Johns's work). That's a big surprise to me because, let's face it, I'm not exactly known as a big Hal Jordan fan.

But there's something missing. It needs more scenes like these:


Lots of them. Like, at least one per story.

Stamp Out Crime!

Okay, granted, this is a very good thing:

I know that this is the first page of stamps I shall have ever bought, and I will have it framed and on the wall.


But I have to agree with Kevin ...

where the heck is VIBE, meng?

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Big Monkey is LIVE!

I am overjoyed to (finally) be able to announce the unveiling of

BigMonkeyComics.com!

Big Monkey Comics is the chain of comic book stores that both Devon of Seven Hells and are I associated with. Actually, with only two stores I guess it's more of an, um, anklet than a chain, but you know what I mean.

Anyway, our website is up and I find it delightful and exemplary. The young folk tell me it's "dope", which I believe is similar.

If everyone who visits the Absorbascon would at least drop in to check it out, I'd be grateful (I'm going to add a link in my sidebar to facilitate that). I'm hoping you'll visit once because I asked you, but return there because you liked it.

It has some fun features, such as

  • RSS feeds from comic book newsites
  • a blog (The Big Blog) to which Devon and I and others contribute
  • comic book reviews by Devon and some of our expert friends
  • store info and sales (gotta make a living!)
  • the Astounding Stupid Quote Balloon!
  • a very easy way to listen to Big Monkey Comics Radio (formerly SuperHero Radio)
  • links (of course) to our Ebay store and on-line Monkey Merchandise store
  • Devon's Pick of the Week and Recommend Readings
  • Two fan forums (FanFatale for women readers and Comic Book Issues for general topics)

Please let me know what you think!

I hated All-Star Superman 1

Okay, I'll say it, since no one else will: I hated All-Star Superman.

Face it, Morrison's A-SS is full of crap. Oh, sure there are some outstanding "left elbow" moments... the one-page origin; the gooberness of Jimmy Olsen, Clark's entrance to the Planet. But overall it was a relentless spewing of Morrison's ideorrhea, with giant test-tube babies, yoctospheres, "fear genes", and some scientist who's apparently the love-child of Willie Wonka and the Rainbow Raider.

"But Morrison captures the joys of carefree silver age age blah blah blah."

No. He does not.

Yes, the Silver Age was characterized by a proliferation of wacky ideas, concepts, and characters. But the Silver Age was mercilessly rigid in following through on the ramifications of those ideas. Everything was explained (usually in long expository balloons), and if there were Superboy robots, then by all that is holy you had to explain it every time Superboy didn't use them: "Ordinarly, I'd use one of my robot replicas to fool Lana! But they're all off performing super-rescues or in repair at the moment! I need another elaborate and unlikely plan to protect my secret identity before Lana opens that door!"

In short, the Silver Age had the mentality of a child: endlessly inventive but very strict and hidebound about rules. Makes sense, of course, since that's when comic books were still written for children.

Morrison's writing, in contrast to the Silver Age, shows ZERO interest or concern for the logical ramifications of the concepts that litter his stories like mental fewmets. Wait, wait, you're trying to tell me some whacked out candy-coated scientist is farming all manner of freakish slave-like sentient organisms using Superman's DNA and -- and everyone's okay with that? That's the kind of person Superman used to capture, not save! Forget all about Superman and Luthor; who cares about them, when this Dr. Moreau thing is the REAL STORY?

Morrison dazzles you all by throwing verbal paint on canvas and quickly moving to the next one, while you gasp and stare at the multicolored Rorshach test, groping for meaning when there isn't any. If it's one thing I've learned from my professional careers, it's that great ideas are extremely easy; following through on them isn't.

That's why I'm no longer impressed by Grant Morrison.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Haiku and Farewell

As regular readers know, Starman -- the real Starman -- is the Father of Heroic Haiku. So, on this Haikuesday at the Absorbascon, we ask the question:

What were the real Starman's last words to his son, Jack the Poseur?


Ted, of course, knows how cool he is. Ted was cool before the word was used that way. Ted invented cool, along with a nearly miraculous hand-held device that sucked power out of the very ether. In his spare time.

Ted hopes that Jack finally understands: "Son; this is what cool is. Not peddling old knicknacks, wearing Hawaiian shirts, and shacking up with circus freaks. Do you get it, now, son?"

Jack seems to get it, I think. Regardless, the Absorbascon knows how cool you are, Ted. Who else would go out ... with a haiku?

When you tell your boy
about me, please lie a bit
to make me sound "cool".



What haiku of yours will honor the real Starman's death or replace Jack's reply?

Monday, November 28, 2005

Pangs-Giving



And, finally...

I am thankful Superman and Batman are no longer allowed to do public service announcements about sexually transmitted diseases.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Parks-giving


Speaking of handicaps...

I'm thankful Superman never wanted my parking space.

Face it, the Supermobile ain't a compact. Superman needs room to park that sucker and it must be conveniently located, because when you're a big-time hero, time is often of the essence. This means ... Superman takes Handicapped Parking spots. Because he can get away with it.

"Excuse me, sir, your supermobile is blocking the full access ramp and -- say, that's a handicapped parking spot!"

"Sure is, 'wheelie'; wanna make something out of it?"

"But--but that's for folks who are handicapped like--like me!"

"I'm Superman, sweetie; from where I sit, all human beings are handicapped and I can't tell the difference. Besides, without me, your planet would have been long since incinerated into space dust by one of the weekly comets I save it from.

Tell you what; I'll go easy on you. I'm going to toss you a couple miles away from here, but, because I'm such a nice guy, I'll throw you in the chair and maybe it'll help break your fall.

And if you're lucky you'll land somewhere near the crumpled up ball of steel and plastic that used to be your hydrolift-equipped van."

Ranks Giving



I am thankful I do not suffer from severe identity dissociation disorder.

Unlike Superboy, whose insecurity runs so deep that he competes ... with a future version of himself.

Even braindead fanboy toady Jimmy Olsen can barely disguise his disgust at Superboy's pathetic stupidity. Well... at least Superboy realizes it's a "handicap".