Friday, December 23, 2005

Christmascon

For some unfathomable reason, in our poll on "What new gay superhero will get his/her own series in 2006?", the venerable but rockhard patriot, Uncle Sam, is in the leader, followed by the new Aquaman, Sword (*snicker*) of Atlantis. Wouldn't it serve me right if it were the new Aquaman? In order to keep to my principles, I'd be forced to buy four copies every month, but throw them all away without reading them; oh, the comic book irony!

Speaking of Uncle Sam, I got this for Christmas from Totaltoyz, the Customizer in Residence at the Big Monkey Comics Ebay store:



















Yes, it's the red white and blue slab of manmeat himself with his white hot sword of victory, as seen previously here at the Absorbascon. What American lad could ask for a better toy for Christmas? Gods, I love my country!





Devon of Seven Hells gave me == I still can't believe it == a nearly perfect copy of Lois Lane 106, one of the most famous comics of all time. Yep; I now own "I am curious (black)!"Expect to hear in 2006 more about my perceptions of this wacky, well-meant story where Lois turns into a black woman. Lots more. It's now my sacred duty.

In return, I gave Devon something you don't find at the store: a custom Heroclix of...
the Viking Commando.Custom Viking Commando heroclix courtesy of Totaltoyz at Big Monkey Comics Ebay

Now, I have to look forward to Monday nights in 2006 listening to Devon shout, "I'm going commando on ALL your asses!" at the top of his voice while wildly waving a spatula above the Heroclix board like an ax as the dog barks like crazy. Oh, well, it's better than bowling.

Lastly (and certainly most ominously for you the reader), Captain Infinity was wonderful enough to send me one of the gifts I asked for: the entire run of the Detroit Justice League. That's right; I'm now armed with every single appearance of Vibe. Everyone say thanks to Captain Infinity!

Dancing ... for Justice!

Yes, to answer the question one of you recently asked me in a private email, I really do come from a professional dance family. I can waltz, two-step, boogie, disco-fy, and breakdance fight; if I were a villain, I'd be Terry Savatte or Batroc the Leaper.

So I'm going to help answer that other question, the one that's been nagging you since you had to suffer through the Electric Slide at your office's holiday party:

"Can my favorite superhero dance?"


We'll be analyzing the evidence, hero by hero, with my expert (or, at least, color) commentary along the way, over the next several Sundays, so tune in Big Monkey Radio, slip into your dance belt, and join us here at the Absorbascon Ballroom for

Dancing for Justice.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

WGBS Interviews Aquaman


"Mr. Curry, Mr. Curry!

Can you say a few words about the Superboy villain "King Shark" being one of the stars of the new Aquaman series, instead of you?

Okay, sir; I can see you're busy; perhaps another time.

King Shark, how would you describe to our viewers
your feelings about being in Sword of Atlantis?
There you have it, folks! Clark, Lana--back to you!"

Hal's Head as Feminist Metaphor

As the symbol of the Post-War Man, Hal Jordan naturally went head to head with the issues feminism and female empowerment. In any head to head conflict, Hal's head takes a beating and this one is no exception.

Carol Ferris personifies post-war female empowerment. During WWII, as able-bodied men were swept into the armed services, women took their place in the workforce, ushering in the modern era of women's socioeconomic independence. Men's return from the war and their expectation that women would return to "their place" in the home caused friction, and introduced a complexity in male/female relations with which society still grapples.

Carol Ferris, in her dual role as Hal's (principal) love interest and boss, encapsulated the conflict nicely. When she was further "empowered" as Star Sapphire by the female warrior race of the Zamarons, she was pushed to use her power to humilitate and subjugate Green Lantern (although deep within she secretly wanted him to win out over her).

HA
! The joke was on her, silly female; Green Lantern is quite capable of humiliating himself, thank you very much. Watch out for those projecting ledges, Hal; they're everywhere.

Basically, Hal can't handle Star Sapphire, empowered woman, any more than he can handle Carol Ferris, empowered woman. In fact, if it weren't for the fact she suffers internal conflict over whether she wants to beat him or not, she'd kick his silly arse halfway to Star City and back. Through Carol, the writers are saying, "Thank the gods women can't make up their minds whether they want to bring us under their thumbs to make us behave or to have us be all Alpha Male so as to protect them, otherwise we guys would be in deep doo-doo."

And that's what it means when Hal hits his head, recoiling from the power of Star Sapphire.

That, or that he's a total incompetent.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

My Favorites This Week ...

Quote from someone else's blog
"Shouldn't Marvel put as much effort into their comics as they do their press-releases?" Ah, yer slayin' me, Jon!

New Superhero Song
"Aquaman" (not 'Sword of Atlantis') by Grandpa Griffith. It's very pretty and well performed. It's on their new album that comes out this week and it's playing now on Big Monkey Comics Radio, because they sent me an advance copy.

Inscrutable Detail
The Shark has nipples. Why does the Shark have nipples? Is Joel Schumacher one of the gremlins? The Shark should not have nipples.

Comic
Green Lantern 6. Hal versus the gremlins, Black Hand, the Shark, Hector Hammond. The delicious art. The death symbolism and double entendre and the contextualizing flashbacks of Hal's life. This is one of the best comic books I've read in a long time.

Error
"Get our daughter out of here," says Tempest, whose only child is a boy. Says something similar in the most recent pre-Sword-of-Atlantis issue of Aquaman. I guess nobody on the DC staff reads Aquaman. Or maybe Tempest pulled a magical screw-up when changing diapers, and, zhwoomp!, Cerdian is now Cerdi Anne. Hey, it's better than accidently turning himself and Aquaman into fish.

Device
The Purple Death Ray. The name alone says it all. There's still time to get me one for Christmas, by the way.

Use of Superpower
Aquaman, in Alex Ross's Justice. No contest. Finny friends rock.

Weekly Wow
The double (triple?) reveal toward the end of Infinite Crisis, with Society Head Luthor, his machine, and the destruction of the Watchtower. Uh-oh. We really are in trouble ...

I'm Super; Thanks for Asking!



Well! As of yesterday, there's lots more juicy gossip in Wizard and on the web about DCU developments in 2006.

Particularly joyous for me is the public announcement that my friend Brad Meltzer will be writing JLA, which is the ne plus ultra for a DC fan like him. Congratulations, Brad! Now bring back Vibe, or you die, because I know where you live.

We can address some of the many tidbits of gossipy goodness soon, but FOREMOST is this one:

"A new gay character makes their first appearance in 52, before moving on to their own ongoing series."

As the original Starman once said, "Assist me to the couch; I feel faint!"; or, as Blue Devil once so famously said in Crisis on Infinite Earths, "Eeek!"

  • Part of me says, "Thank you!"
  • Part of me says, "It's about dang time!"
  • Part of me says, "I will buy four copies of each issue, which will neatly take the place of Flash, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and Gotham Central in my subscription, unless of course the character is a lesbian."
  • Part of me says, "I'll give this a try until the character gets fagbashed, contracts HIV, is raped by Dr. Light, or adopts a baby (or, in a Very Special Issue, all of the above), which means for about 5 issues."

A discussion on the larger issues of a gay hero (not a throwaway character like Hero Cruz or a mere metrosexual like Kyle "I dance with my arms above my head" Rayner) has been started at Big Monkey Comics, to which I hope you'll choose to contribute.

For us here at the Absorbascon, the real question is:

Should it be the new Black Condor, the new Red Bee, or the new Blue Beetle?

Hal's Head as Architectural Satire



As one of my favorite polka stars used to say, "It don't get no bedder den dis, folks!"

Oh, yes. That is indeed Hal Jordan knocking himself out by flying directly in a stone wall headfirst. Doesn't even roll or turn to mitigate the impact.

Head. First.

Now, given the contextualizing buildings in the first panel, I'm certain this sequence was intended by the writer as a sly artistic satire of atomic-age man's inability to understand or anticipate the modernistic architectural trends of Bauhaus, Internationalism, or Structuralism. *Chortle*! Look, I believe that's I.M. Pei himself in the background, camoflaged as an aerobics teacher, chuckling, "Heh, didn't expect that externalized non-functional butress, did you, Hal?"

Those Silver Age writers were cleverer than you give them credit for, people.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

I dare not relax an instant!

How amazing is the Golden Age Starman?

Well, he can kick the butt of crazy-powerful Ultraman through his superior intelligence. Casually. While laughing about it. In outer space.

But this is the Golden Age Starman we're talking about here, folks. Tricking Ultraman into blowing himself up is not enough ....

It's taking all my
greatest efforts to prevent
this from blowing up!

Starman tricks him into haikuing about it. Ah, Starman!

Will your haiku match Ultraman's... or exceed it?

Monday, December 19, 2005

Hal's Head as Political Allegory


Naive readers think that Hal gets hit on the head a lot just because

(a) the Universe itself hates him;
(b) the writers think it's hilarious;
(c) Hal himself is an idiot.

All those are true, of course. But you and I are wise enough to realize that there's a deeper literary purpose to it all. We understand that the leitmotif of Hal getting hit on the head is a metaphor.

Hal Head Hitting (H3) is political allegory of the subtlest order, which is why we give it such respect here at the Absorbascon.

Hal Jordan personifies the post WWII man. Former military man in the glamorous 1950/60s career of test pilot. Wears a suit and tie to baseball games, which he finds so exciting he loses track of time. A sexist pig, but only out of ignorance, not ill will. A company man in love with his employer (cleverly personified as the beautiful Carol Ferris). Confident in his own abilities and the power of the democratic arsenal at his (literal) fingers. Hal Jordan WAS his time.

What is his weakness? Yes -- the YELLOW PERIL itself: communism, which threatens to undo our post-war prosperity by undermining the concept of individual superiority (which the vain, smug Hal evokes incredibly well). Along with his fellow pseudomilitary peacekeeper colleagues from similar but distant societies, Hal is directed by the distant Guardians, who with their light blue and white visages clearly are meant to embody the United Nations, ordering local forces to squelch possible political instabilities or challenges to their universal authority.

The "H3 Phenomenon" is a warning to us all. We the post-war Western World (as represented by Hal Jordan) must remain ever vigilant against sneak attacks. One "klonk" to our metaphorical heads (our "heads of state", as it were) and our society can be rendered senseless, our all-powerful arsenal of democracy dangling uselessly from our unconscious hands. We must remain alert so that our leaders are not blindsided by ideological ambush, which is why the search for communist sympathizers within the ranks of our political and cultural elite is so important, lest we be nurturing a Sinestro/Castro in our very bosom.


It's either that, or Hal just gets hit on the head a lot.