Saturday, July 12, 2008

Weighing Evil

Here's some good straightforward with some twisted evil:


According to Dr. Stone's Scale of Evil, where do various villains fall?

The Joker: 16
The Penguin: 14
The Riddler: 10? 11?
Harley Quin: 03
Catwoman: 05
Two-Face: hm. A tough one (naturally); 13?
Scarecrow: 19 (psychological torture, that is)
Black Mask: 20?

Care to debate or expand the list?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Things That Made Me Happy

in my comics.

  • "Luke Cage owes me ten bucks."
  • Skeets should always wear a beret.
  • Honestly, I've seen gas lines do a lot of strange things, but never impale someone through the head.
  • The tetherball maneuver; I love when he uses the Wisdom of Solomon for the cleverest application of his powers.
  • I got to see Panda die... again.
  • Finally, an explanation of why Batman supported him in the League.... .
  • Arm-Fall-Off-Boy saves the Legion from Starfinger. Single-handedly.
  • Gail; thanks for the severed head display!!!
  • "Take me to your leader." Clark Kent is a funny person.
  • It's so good to see Michelle again!
  • It's also good to see Gangbuster again. Never though we would.
  • The Penguin's scrapbook.
  • If the House of the Mystery serves that spread for breakfast, why would anyone ever try to leave? Sounds like an endless stay at the Doubletree.
  • "And we'd have milk everywhere." Of course. Hate it when that happens.
  • Geoff Johns' very clever synopses/juxtaposition of Luthor, Superman, Supergirl, and Brainiac. I now understand them all a bit better, and, in typical Johnsian fashion it was accomplished in about two panels.
  • Using the Joker as a Crypt-Keeperesque series interlocutor? Genius.
  • Wouldn't the 7 Deadly Evils make a great tiki glass set?
  • "No, really: you look great." Catwoman is a funny person.
  • Tom versus the Gorillas.
  • That is not how I expected the Atom to end... .
  • Hey, that was the most fun I've ever had without the Joker killing somebody! This Joker's Asylum mini is way better than anyone expected.
  • Superman shaving.
  • "You'd spend it." Skeet is a funny person. Well, funny machine, anyway.
  • Okay, I'll admit that my first reaction to "High-Energy Particle Physics", "Obscure 17th Century French Literature", and "Pre-Columbian Meso-American Burial Practices", was "thank goodness, something I have a chance at answering correctly, unlike 'Baseball' or 'Song Lyrics'..."
  • Mr. Batson flirting with Amelia.
  • Of course she doesn't have a make-up drawer!
  • Of course Batman figured it out. And kept it quiet. For years. He does things like that.
  • Atom tracers? Starro iodine? Ray Palmer is so freaking cool... .
  • Ah, the three-way version of Truth/Justice/&theAmericanWay. Very well done!
  • Ye gods, that was a great Penguin story! Thank you, Jason Aaron!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Someone Tell Peter the Pufferfish!

Well, I'm finally back from Nashville, where the audiences were kind, too kind! With my biggest performance of the year behind me, I'm ready to turn my attention back to comics, and what do I find...?

This.
Yes, yes, we all know that the Martian Manhunter is dead. Truly dead. Really most sincerely dead. That is not my point. That is not what I want to talk about.

THIS

is my point. THIS is what I want to talk about.

There's another scene in this issue where Aquaman appears, but he's just an illusion cast by J'onn. Here? J'onn ain't casting nothing here, folks; that's really Aquaman.

Real Aquaman. I mean, you can tell it's him because of his fabulously styled hair.

If the DCUniverse itself is sentient, then it's crying out for the return of the real Aquaman. This appears to be the first sighting! I've suspected for some time that Final Crisis would begin with Martian Manhunter dying, then have Flash return, then end with Aquaman returning. This seems like pretty strong evidence! And, if he's back, what's the story and when do we get to hear it? Honestly, I'd be just as happy to pretend he never left.

Artist error, one of you will say. Doug Mahnke "accidently" drew Aquaman? Peter Tomasi (who used to edit Aquaman) and Eddie Berganza simply didn't notice that Aquaman was there or "forgot" that one of DC's icons is supposed to be dead and had his book cancelled? I don't think so.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Captain America Moves Me Instead of His Lips

Continuing our July 4 weekend observations, I want to admit that I've just discovered the old Captain America cartoons on-line at YouTube. I'd never seen them before and they are...


WONDERFUL.

Sure it has what we'd now call "primitive animation", kind of like Colorforms in action. But you know what? My comic books don't move much either. In the Captain America cartoons, the stiffness of the characters and the infrequency of their movement is part of their charm, and an advantage. They capture the actual experience of reading a comic book much better than more sophisticated animation does!

This is pure Marvel, people; the heroes spend more time bickering with one another than fighting villains.



Sure, Swordsman's motivations and behavior are incomprehensible, inconsistent, and even incommensurable. Sure, the language sounds like it was translated from the original Bulgarian. Sure, the dialog lurches forward via non-sequiturs as if to dodge the plot. But hey... have you ever read a comic book of that era?

"I crave action, Wanda; action!" Pietro creepily trying to get action from his sister! Mmm, no, what you really crave, Pietro, is salon-quality hair-care products to get your unruly 'do under control. And a bitch-slap from the Swordsman. Oh, and Captain America hiimself has supplied my new signature phrase: "Who's this slumbering stranger?" I can use that every weekend, at least! "Melodramatic phrases don't frighten me, son!" I should hope not, if you're in a Marvel story. And who's voicing the Mandarin... Barbara Walters? And, oh my god, that's John Vernon as Iron Man; hilarious!

Is this stuff on DVD? Because it really deserves to be! Celebrate your Independence Weekend with some Captain America.