Friday, October 06, 2006

Cavalier Reponse

Well, since no one else seems to want to talk about it, I will: specifically, what is apparently comics' newest gay couple, The Cavalier and Captain Stingaree (from the most recent issue of JLA, in case you missed it).

Ordinarly, I am, in principle, in favor of new gay characters or newly "gayed" characters, particularly if those are characters no one is doing anything else with anyway. In this case, however, I must confess I'm not happy that Brad Meltzer apparently thought it was funny to make Batman's two foofy swashbuckler opponents gay, and lovers to boot. Brad tends to get too "cute" with characters sometimes, and this is certainly an instance of that.

Besides, it's absurd. The fabulous Cavalier (Mortimer Drake) is a wealthy socialite and oddities collector with a distinguished Golden Age pedigree; stinky D-lister Captain Stingaree (Karl Courtney) is the one-eyed owner of a seafood restaurant, whose greatest moment was holding a football player hostage to protect himself in issue 6 of the original Secret Society of Super-Villains.

The Cavalier wouldn't even be seen with Captain Stingaree. Even if the Captain has hidden charms best left unmentioned on a family blog, the two would only stay in together, they would never go out together. I mean, really.

Not even I am gay enough to say,
"Let me advise you to attend to your own knitting!"

But I intend to work on it.



I also don't like the idea that Black Lightning is, apparently, blackmailing Cavalier with the threat of outing him. Good lord, the man's a costume Gothamite, not a member of some street gang. Who's going to give a flying that the Cavalier is gay? For that matter, who doesn't already think he is, for pity's sake?

To me, it only works if Cavalier is one of those queeny comedotragic "no one knows I gay and I can't risk ruining my career" types, whom everyone knows is gay. That is funny; that is realistic.

"I'm the Cavalier; no one must ever suspect I'm gay!",
says the bonnetted man flinging his lace hankie at a teenage boy.

On Earth Prime, this guy'd be in Congress.



The Cavalier is fabulous. He's one of those early "Anti-Batmans" they used to churn out in the forties; rich playboy who turns pointlessly to crime for sport, excitement, and the opportunity to wear a funny hat. Just like another one of our favorites here at the Absorbascon: Killer Moth!

The Cavalier is the zig to Killer Moth's zag, and, face it, they are ones who are obviously a couple (or were!). Can't you picture them shopping together? "Well, yes, dear, it is orange and purple and green ... but is it orange and purple and green enough?" They really do belong together.

It's no wonder that the two are often paired, as when they posed with for photos with the A-listers in Batman 292, during the famous "Who Killed Batman?" storyline:

Note Captain Stingaree in the background, legs crossed in pained jealousy:
"Some day, Cavalier ... you
WILL be mine."


As for Captain Stingaree, well, Scott Tipton's covered his brief moment in the sun thoroughly already. Cap's main plus is being the only comic book character I can think of who's a quadruplet. I mean, besides his three brothers, of course.

The JLA is not where we need to Captain Stingaree right now. I challenge the team who's writing Mystery in Space to work into their story a second fight between Captain Comet and Captain Stingaree...


Once that's done, what we deserve to hear is the story of why the Cavalier left his decades-long soulmate, Killer Moth, and started shacking up with Popeye the Supervillain.

Was it the Charaxes thing? I bet it was the Charaxes thing... . Love has its limits, you know.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Things That Made Me Happy...

in the comics I got this week.

  • Talking bulldogs, notwithstanding their physiological impossibility.
  • The Penguin & the Riddler hanging out together.
  • Lois Lane & Bruce Wayne hanging out together.
  • The Penguin & The Riddler hanging out with Lois Lane & Bruce Wayne.
  • The map of Ivytown and the reason it's crazy; every fictionopolis should have a map.
  • Dr. Zuel's Chinese food joke.
  • Mr. Zzz? Priceless.
  • Yappy little society dogs.
  • Jonah Hex; uncomfortably greying your black & white morality since 1864.
  • Forget Felix Unger & Oscar Madison; Felix Faust & Black Manta are the new Odd Couple.
  • The title of this week's 52, which is brilliant.
  • The Weird, god help me!
  • The Green Lantern Origin, which omits several unpleasantnesses, including the Yellow Ceiling Tile, The Heavy Yellow Lamp, and the Bar of Soap.
  • Doc Magnus, kicking robot butt.
  • Luthor's metagenetic irony.
  • Super-Chief.

In fact, the only real downside to this week's comics was that Panda didn't get killed. I'm looking on the bright side; it'll happen later, I'm hoping, and much more slowly.

What made YOU happy in your comics this week?

Monday, October 02, 2006

Signed, A Concerned Citizen of the Sea

"Dear Atlantean Child Services,

"I am writing to urge you to take action to save an Atlantean child I feel is at risk: the Curry baby.

"I'm forced to call him 'the Curry baby', because, as far as I or anyone else in the neighborhood can tell, his parents haven't even deigned to give him a proper name. None of us has even heard them call him anything but 'Aquababy'; had these been land-dwellers, I can only assume he would be called 'Dirtchild' or 'Mudbaby'. Should they procreate again (Poseidon forbid!), I have no doubt the child will be named 'Hydro-young-un'.

"This 'Aquababy' is continually allowed to wander off or is otherwise misplaced; local seacow milk distributors reserve a permanent place for it on their cartons!

"Often, when the parents are gallavanting about the seascape frollicking with the fauna, they dump the child in the care of his uncle, a drunk-driving reprobate and convicted felon.


"When they do deign to handle their own child, they pimp him out like a performing seal at public events for gawking airbreathers. How can you permit this? Are we less civilized than the landlubbers, who at least have child labor and Coogan Laws?


"In private, these reefbillies think nothing of exposing the child to their dangerous 'Jackass-style' pasttimes.



"Which, I might add, many of us suspect involve illegal drug use.



"They have even been witnessed exposing the child to shocking, wind-warping art movements that will undoubtedly permanently pervert the child and erode its sense of values.



"I shudder to think how the child's nutritional needs are being addressed, if at all.



"Is it any wonder that the child has already begun to lash out at its torturers? Surely, we have an aquatic serial killer in the making!



"It's my understanding that this family -- despite being what I can only call
'white flotsam' -- is well-connected and has political pull. Is that what's keeping you from acting?

"I urge you to intervene soon, not just for the sake of the child, but for the sake of our community. I have no doubt that if you do not act, some concerned citizen may be forced to take matters into his own hands and things could get ugly!

"Sincerely,

B. Manta"


Sunday, October 01, 2006

Same Bat-Channel

Yesterday, Devon and I spend much of the day taping some episodes of a local comic book talkshow, "Fantastic Forum". They kept us on separate panels; the cameraman said his equipment could only handle so much radiance. Or something like that.

It was fun and easy, certainly more fun and easier than when I used to be a Talking Head and debate unpleasant national and international policy issues on Washington's numberless blabcasts.

But the producer was having trouble coming up with topics that would be:

  • not entirely uninteresting to a non-comic fan
  • fresh for regular comic book readers
  • subtantial yet entertaining

So I thought I'd ask the most disriminating comic fans I know -- the Absorbascommenters --

"What would you want to watch discussed if you were to watch such a show?"