Saturday, May 19, 2007

Things That Annoyed Me...

in JLA this week.

  • Page 1, panel 1. The JLA justs leave holograms up and running all the time, apparently. Do they leave the TV on all the time, too?
  • Page1, panel 2. Is it just me or is the dialog here nonsensical?
  • Page 1, panel 3. "Reddy's been a bit withdrawn". As Dorothy Parker said when Calvin Coolidge died, "How can you tell?"
  • Page 1, panel 4. Mr. Terrific isn't sneaky and manipulative. He's also not as obsessed with Red Tornado as Brad Meltzer is.
  • Page 2, panel 1. Okay; I guess they do leave the TV on.
  • Page 2, panel 2. So, neither Batman nor Mr. Terrific noticed the detachable lighting rods? Uh-huh.
  • Page 2, panel 3. "If you need to sleep, I can have Sandman ..." What? Gas her? Jeez, Doc, no wonder you lost your license. Just give her a couch and a pillow.
  • Page 3, panel 5. Of course life is sometimes random; that's part of the point. That's how you know that what happened to the Legionnaires was planned. Why is Batman spouting inaccurate aphorisms? Is Alfred feeding him fortune cookies?
  • Page 4, panel 1. When did the JLA teleporter, which requires a receiving device, become a Star Trek transporter that doesn't?
  • Page4, panel 3. I don't suppose she could have just answered the question politely. When did everyone in the JLA become a snitty Marvel character?
  • Page 4, panel 4. If you want to see Gorilla City's "architectural advances" look at the skyline depicted by Carmine Infantino in the recent Flash Showcase Edition. All Benes chose to show us was a granite staircase, which, you know, I see a lot of here in Washington.
  • Page 4, panel 6. Ooo. Vixen and the gorillas are SO much more civilized than Batman and Superman!
  • Page 5, panel 1. Apparently Wildkitty grew up under a rock and never heard of Gorilla Grodd. Yeah, kid; you grew up in the DCU-- should a talking gorilla really surprise you that much, particularly when you're in Gorilla City?
  • Page 5, panel 3. "The power of the full pride"? Gorilla are social animals, not pack animals; only predators are pack animals.
  • Page 6, panel 1. Did Vixen not two pages ago insist that her powers aren't based on proximity? Then why is proximity to Gorilla City affecting her?
  • Page 7, panel 2. When did Wildkitty Who Avoids Fights become Wildkitty Who's Spoiling For A Fight?
  • Page 7, panels 6-8. The maximum speed of a Cheetah is 60, maybe 70, miles an hour, which is fast enough not to get hit on the highway but not fast enough to search Gorilla City with the Flash in half a second.
  • Pages 8 - 9. See previous comments about "packs of gorillas". I'll just ignore the domesticated dinosaurs thing.
  • Page 9-10, panel 1. Opposable toe; yeah, Brad, we get it; they're apes. They know that, and so do we, let's not belabor it.
  • Page 9-10, panel 6. Brin Londo is surrounded by "people who were cut from his exact same cloth"? Gregarious herbivores are like a lone predator how, exactly? This is really just an excuse for the writer to visit Gorilla City, isn't it?
  • Page 9-10, panel 8. It's a spaceship. I should hope the air is always regulated and that helmets are not necessary for take-off. If not, the JLA needs to start shopping at a new dealership.
  • Page 11, panels 1-2. Metatextual commentary about what is really a Marvel phenomenon ,not a DC one? Annoying. Such metatextual commentary from Red Arrow? Extremely annoying.
  • Page 11, panels 3-4. I think these are for perverts who own stereopticons.
  • Pages 12-13. This story is accomplishing the nearly-impossible; it's making Hawkgirl unlikeable and making Red Arrow even more unlikeable. I don't really want heroes I'd be embarrassed to know personally.
  • Page 14-15, panel 1. I could have happily lived the rest of my life without experiencing Power Girl talking about the size of anyone's testicles. Apparently, Power Girl's not just a 'broad', she's a sailor ... who collects rare first edition books with the money she earned as a software entrepreneur.
  • Page 14-15, panel 5. So, Power Girl, known for wanting to spend time forming family relationship in the JSA on Earth, has spent the last six months on Thanagar helping to rebuild? Well ... isn't that both wildly out of character, inconsistent with recent continuity, and really convenient for creating an instant romance backstory!
  • Page 16. Okay, even I, decapitation fan that I am, think it's odd for three villains to stand around staring at a brainless corpse, which is basically the equivalent of staring at the Ultra-Humanite's dirty laundry.
  • Page 18, panels 1-2. I assume you don't need me to tell you that no one would mistake a girl squatting in front of a statue for a girl with wings, unless, you know, everyone is drawn. I mean, I Ching wouldn't make that mistake.
  • Page 18, panel 13. Yeah, Power Girl; her wings aren't real. Gosh, no wonder they elected you chairperson!
  • Page 20, panel 1 "Bruce, it's Dinah. Bruce, are you there? He's not answering?" Try calling him "Batman" and maybe he'll answer you. While you're at it, stop speaking in color-coded word-boxes that match your outfits; not even I'm gay enough to think that's a good idea.

35 comments:

suedenim said...

Heh. That last point just drives me up the wall - it's annoying enough how much Meltzer uses those damn color-coded word boxes for narration, but on top of that, he constantly changes the "rules" about them. A device that has been consistently used to convey internal monologue suddenly becomes a device to convey spoken dialogue! Gah!

I actually think the points about Vixen's powers might be on purpose, albeit hazily conveyed. The impression I got is that being in Gorilla City (or Africa, or something) is supercharging her powers.

Technically speaking, I don't believe there was any "decapitation" going on with Ms. Winters. Not that she'd be in a position to care one way or the other, but the head's still attached to the neck. Technically speaking, I believe this would be referred to in the medical texts as a "debrainination."

Diamondrock said...

I think it could still be considered a "decapitation." Scipio knows his Latin, after all..

And yeah this issue was a bit of a mess. There was some cool stuff (Ultra-Humanite!) but some stuff that I wouldn't call "cool" by any stretch of the imagination.

And what's up with Ultra, anyway? He hasn't been in Dolores Winter's body in decades. Or so I thought. And then he showed up in Blue Beetle awhile ago.

Color me confused...

Scipio said...

That's one part I actually did understand, Jim.

The Carpool Buddies of Evil go back in time (which they can do) to U-H/Dolores's deathbed, take him/her to the future where they transfer the brain to the grown up white gorilla we see born in the Gorilla City sequence.

Of course, this negates all post-Winter appearance of the Ultra-Humanite...

totaltoyz said...

When did everyone in the JLA become a snitty Marvel character?

I think it was 1984...

SallyP said...

So...what DO you call a bunch of gorillas? A pod? A gaggle? I know about a murder of crows, a parliament of rooks, and even an exhaltation of lapwings, but gorillas?

This is going to bother me now.

Scipio said...

The comic book actually uses the correct term: "a band of gorillas".

totaltoyz said...

So...what DO you call a bunch of gorillas?

Something interesting I learned from watching animal documentaries with my 4-year-old son: the collective noun for cheetahs is "coalition". Not germaine to the conversation but interesting anyway.

Quilty said...

The USGS has a list of animal plurals online!

For anyone interested in what happened to Dolores Winters after the Ultra-Humanite transplanted his brain into her body, check out JSA Classified 19-20, a cool story that asks, "why do giant albino apes have all the fun?"

Town said...

Why has no one mentioned Despero's sweater?

Scipio said...

Despero is back to his original look. Which should be very significant in the context of New Earth.

Captain Infinity said...

Of course, this negates all post-Winter appearance of the Ultra-Humanite...

Following COIE, Zero Hour, an Infinite Crisis, DC's timeline is so full of blank spots, negations, and retcons that there's no way to know what history is supposed to be to know if it wrong.

Marcos said...

What a freakin' mess. Brad Melts-her, the Dibny Dalek, and Ed "Perineum? I didn't even see him!" Benes - my nightmare team. I'm picking this up because I like the idea of a JLA/JSA/Legion team-up too much to ignore, but the writing is really horrible. (And what, exactly, is "elegant" or "a good test" about Mr. Terrific having Hal and Dinah play each other in chess while thinking they're playing him? What's being tested?)

As for the art . . . well, I complained enough about Benes when he was on BoP. But on that last page, where the heck are Dawny's nipples? Unless her people have anatomical oddities apart from the wings, there's no way they're covered by the top...

Anonymous said...

I understand it came out of nowhere but do you guys like the supposed pairing of Hawkman and Powergirl?

suedenim said...

Marcos,
Oh, yeah, the chess thing....
What Mr. Terrific did is basically a magic trick done by some mentalists. The trick is that the mentalist, a novice player, can "play two grandmasters simultaneously and beat at least one, or play them to a draw."

Which he can do every time, simply by "relaying" the moves of each grandmaster.

Here, with the roles reversed, it's not especially useful or impressive, but just Mr. Terrific screwing with people.

Plus, on the assumption that Mr. Terrific is a chess Master and GL and BC talented amateurs at best, he should be able to beat both of them simultaneously with little difficulty.

"Simultaneous Chess" is an exhibition many Masters can pull off pretty well - playing 10 simultaneous games against amateur opponents. Two - especially when one has been hit on the head as much as Hal Jordan - should be trivial for Holt.

Scipio said...

The only taught there that I can imagine is, "See? You two were so wrapped up in yourselves and your own game that you didn't notice that the two boards are identical, which anyone who looked for two seconds would notice."

jon said...

The JLA this week was bad. If you can have a book with Timberwolf and talking gorillas riding dinosaurs and still bore and confuse me, something's wrong.

The entire JSA is written awfully out of character. Vixen can keep up with the Flash? Those must be some special cheetahs she's channeling. Mr. Terrific is written as some kind of paranoid jerk. Power Girl's an idiot who gets pissed off for no reason.

Once this crossover's over, I'm done with Justice League. It's just a mess, and miles behind JSA in quality.

Scipio said...

Jon, once this crossover's done, I think it will have different writer, so you might want to wait to see who that is.

Lannisters Giant said...

I had always thought that Power Girl was gay. I felt that there were strong hints in the JSA, especially in her solo issue. Am I way off base here?

Derek said...

"While you're at it, stop speaking in color-coded word-boxes that match your outfits; not even I'm gay enough to think that's a good idea."

I like them. I'm not a dumb guy, but I can get confused when plain narration boxes show up. I have no idea who's talking and end up reading a completely different story than the one that's written.

Now, ideally, a writer should be able to differentiate between the character by changing the rhetoric, but that rarely happens. A blue box with a red border and white text will clue me that this is Superman talking.

Sometimes they even go so far as to put the hero's symbol in the top-left corner. I like that too.

Maybe it's because I spend most of my free time matching font colours with background colours and border colours (I build websites).

Just think how confusing JLA would be if they narration boxes weren't coloured? Meltzer's constant switching between narrators would be incomprehensible.

Dave said...

Your quoting of the Dorothy Parker line reminds me of the almost-never-heard punchline.

Round Table Member #1: "Did you hear? Calvin Coolidge died."

Round Table Member #2: "How can they tell?"

Mrs. Parker: "He had an erection."

God bless Dotty.

totaltoyz said...

I had always thought that Power Girl was gay. I felt that there were strong hints in the JSA, especially in her solo issue. Am I way off base here?

Can I ask what you base this on? She was a strong-willed, independent woman who didn't want to remain in her male cousin's shadow, and she rejected the advances of nebbishy guys like the Star-Spangled Kid and Firestorm; but that wouldn't necessarily make her a lesbian.

Anonymous said...

Back to the chess thing one more time...

Scipio remarks, "The only taught there that I can imagine is, "See? You two were so wrapped up in yourselves and your own game that you didn't notice that the two boards are identical, which anyone who looked for two seconds would notice." "

Oh, its much worse than that. Given that Mr. Terrific is blindfolded, every move Canary and Lantern makes has to be spoken aloud. Not only did they not see the boards were similar, they didn't even hear their moves being repeated!

Even Hal should have caught on by the tenth or eleventh move...

Jon said...

While the idea of Hawkman and Power Girl is amusing, it did strike me as odd that she would've spent 6 months on Thanagar.

I think I said "bullshit" out loud when I saw Vixen keep up with the Flash. I haven't even read the issue yet, it doesn't come out here until next week, but I've seen plenty of scans of the annoying bits (some of them anyway), and yeah, now I know why I've never read any of Brad's previous work.

Jon Hex said...

Here's the thing, I don't think Arrow Quest or Identity Crisis was an accurate guage of how bad Meltzer's JLA would be. It came out of left field and left everyone stunned.

Why does Vixen feel the need to point out how her powers are different than Buddy's or automatically assume that they are comparing her to Animal Man? Does Buddy go shouting out, "Dude, there's no cheetahs around here, I'm going to burrow like an earthworm!" And I just can't get over how everyone keeps calling each other by their real names while on missions. It's stupid, BRAD, just stop.

MaGnUs said...

Vixen's power must be supercharged by Gorilla City somehow, although her keeping up with Flash (even with Jay's reduced speed with no Speed Force around) is kind of stretching it.

And Wildkitty is probably rowdy because of Gorilla City as well... and also his wereform probably makes him more instinct-based and predator-like, like it's usually the norm with this kind of buggers.

Gokitalo said...

Whew. I already wasn't really looking forward to Justice League of America #9, but now I'm wondering if I should buy it at all. Even though the Justice Society of America issue was good, this crossover's been disappointing. Especially if you compare it to Virtue and Vice.

Despero is back to his original look. Which should be very significant in the context of New Earth.

He is? Blast. I liked it when Despero was as intimidating and formidable physically as he was mentally, particularly when Geoff Johns and collaborators David Goyer and Allan Heinberg wrote him.

Jon, once this crossover's done, I think it will have different writer, so you might want to wait to see who that is.

Justice League of America, you mean? Meltzer's run ends at issue #12; I think "The Lightning Saga" will end at issue #10. Gene Ha's already started work on issue #11.

suedenim said...

Just think how confusing JLA would be if they narration boxes weren't coloured? Meltzer's constant switching between narrators would be incomprehensible.

Well, yeah, but that's the problem, IMO. It's not so much the coloring as the fact he's overusing those narrative captions so much in the first place. They're a crutch, just like thought balloons but more popular with the cool kids.

Anonymous said...

You know, I starting to get REALLY sick of all the superheroes I read about having random booty calls with their teammates. Not that that sort thing shouldn't happen every once in a while, but in the last month, I've seen She-Hulk & Iron Man, Hank Pym & Tigra, and now Power Girl & Hawkman (oh, sorry - I meant Kara & Carter) all hooking up out of the blue for no apparent reason other than the writer thought it might be cool. For God's sake, folks, keep it in your pants and fight some crime. The book is JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA, not SOAP OPERA DIGEST.

Lannisters Giant said...

Can I ask what you base this on? She was a strong-willed, independent woman who didn't want to remain in her male cousin's shadow, and she rejected the advances of nebbishy guys like the Star-Spangled Kid and Firestorm; but that wouldn't necessarily make her a lesbian.


I was introduced to Power Girl in JSA. In 39, she has a solo issue where a guy named Da Bomb breaks out of prison to be with her. When she hears him profess his love, she laughs at him and says something like "you're not my type." I've always read her after that with the strong possibility of her being gay, kind of an unspoken "probably" but far from conclusive. To my knowledge, there hasn't been anything to prove or disprove it until this issue of Justice League. I was just wondering if anyone else had the same ideas, or if I was way off base.

I, also, am tired of random booty calls. It's like Judd Winick is writing the League now. Of course, if he was, PG would have hooked up with WW.

jon said...

Justice League of America, you mean? Meltzer's run ends at issue #12; I think "The Lightning Saga" will end at issue #10. Gene Ha's already started work on issue #11.
Yeah, that was what I thought as well. Gene Ha's work is very nice, but the story's all about Red Arrow being trapped with another Leaguer. Dollars to donuts says it'll be Hawkgirl, so that sounds like it'll be a snoozer.

Any rumors on who the next writer will be? As long as whoever it is doesn't try and ape Meltzer's style (and all its failings), it should be okay.

Derek said...

"They're a crutch, just like thought balloons but more popular with the cool kids."
-suedenim

Thanks! No one's ever implied I was a "cool kid" before.

As for (coloured) narration boxes and thought balloons being a crutch, I think they're one of the most interesting facets of the medium.

Sure, they can be over used, but most of the time they offer much needed information and/or glimpses into the characters' mind. That's something you just can't get in TV or movies.

Colouring them simply makes it easier to tell who's doing the thinking.

"... she laughs at him and says something like "you're not my type." I've always read her after that with the strong possibility of her being gay..."
-Lannisters Giant

I think it's funny that nowadays "You're not my type." means the same as "I'm gay."

No sarcasm. You seriously never see the phrase "not my type" anymore without it meaning "I'm gay". It's weird.

suedenim said...

Re: "not my type," is "confirmed bachelor" the same way, or was that always code for "gay?" I always thought of "confirmed bachelor" as a term you'd apply to, say, Bruce Wayne - quite clearly both heterosexual and uninterested in marriage.

totaltoyz said...

she has a solo issue where a guy named Da Bomb breaks out of prison to be with her. When she hears him profess his love, she laughs at him and says something like "you're not my type."

I took that to mean because he's stupid, aggressive, and, at the root of it all, evil. Not because he was a guy.

Accursed Interloper said...

"When did the JLA teleporter, which requires a receiving device, become a Star Trek transporter that doesn't?"

Probably circa the run-up to the Mageddon throw-down, when Metron and/or Orion+Barda did some unauthorized upgrades to the teleport equipment. This was around the time when Metron also upgraded Oracle's computers to enable cybernetic telepathy. Those were heady times.

Anonymous said...

"Page 9-10, panel 8. It's a spaceship. I should hope the air is always regulated and that helmets are not necessary for take-off. If not, the JLA needs to start shopping at a new dealership."

It's actually standard practice for launching spacecraft, because during the launches and landings are when things are most likely to go catastrophically wrong. DC is modeling their space launches on the real world.