Monday, July 21, 2014

The Greatest Gift is Love

My final gift at my riotous birthday party yesterday was a very special and thoughtful one, carefully schemed by a coterie of my closest friends.

As long time readers will know, one of the (many) things for which I am internet-famous is my richly insightful analysis of the classic Green Lantern story by George Kashdan for Filmation, "Sirena, Empress of Evil", which contains more lunacy in a mere seven minutes than all the rooms in Arkham.

The high point of the tale is when Sirena hits Hal in the head with a brain-wave guided space owl.

Which looks like this, in case you've forgotten.


So when my dragon brother Josh was thinking what to get me for my birthday he hit upon the idea of a customer Heroclix figure commemorating this moment.  With the collusion of Romulan cousin Nick, who doped out the right dial, Josh crafted the powers and power names of the figure, while using Judge Price's assistance to commission Master Modder Dale to create the figure itself.

It was truly the most wonderful surprise gift I have ever received when I opened THIS at my party:


This would have been Kairo's view of it, by the way.


I was uncharacteristically speechless:


That's my happy face, believe it or not.

And the character card was a masterpiece all its own:


I think that henceforth Josh should be allowed to name the powers on ALL Hal Jordan figures.

That's the YGO-054 dial ("Red-Eyes B. Dragon"). A friggin' CHASE, in case you were wondering.
The real fun will be in outwitting that defense and then pelting him in the head with light objects until he's kayoed.


The true gift, of course, is the underlying love that motivated this INSANE effort.  Thank you, gentlemen, for my best birthday gift ever!


Sunday, July 20, 2014

Happy Birthday to Me!



Tuesday, July 15, 2014

"We've all got our faults..."



[pointing to a map of California]







Tim Draper: Everything west of this line is the richest, most expensive real estate in the world: Northern California, Silicon Valley, West California. Everything on this side of the line is just hundreds and hundreds of miles of worthless desert land, which just so happens to be disowned by...

[WHACK!]



Roger Salazar: Uhhh... Tim Draper, the Riskmaster.


Tim Draper: Now, call me foolish, call me irresponsible, but it occurs to me that a multimillion-dollar ballot measure planted at just the proper point would, uh...





Democrats: Would split California into six different states. Millions of innocent voters would be politically neutered. West coast politics as we know it would...


Tim Draper: Fall into the sea. Bye-bye, California. Hello, new west coast. My west coast.

[Roger overlays map with new map]




Lex Luthor: Casa del Tim. Draperville. Marina del Tim. 

Rogersburg... Rogersburg?

Roger Salazar: Mr Case, he's got his own district.





Tim Draper: Rogersburg?


Roger Salazar: It's a little bitty district...


Tim Draper: ROGERSBURG?!?!


Roger Salazar: Okay, I'll just wipe it off, that's all. Just a little district...




Monday, July 14, 2014

Haikuesday: The Shield is poetry in motion





The Shield brings every 

ounce of his giant muscles 

into play, and leaps.  

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Spin the Spy Bottle

So, the latest loser in DC's 'spin-the-spy-bottle' game is Dick Grayson.

Pardon my cynicism, but nothing says "we longer know what to do to make this character work" than recasting someone in the spy-thriller genre. Um... except recasting them in the barbarian-lost world genre.  But that's another story.

DC tried to do this with both Hawkman and Aquaman.  Hawkman used to fight CAW (The Criminal Alliance of the World) and Aquaman used to fight OGRE (The Organization for General Revenge and Enslavement).  CAW had high-tech weapons out the whazoo (including anti-grav guns, acid-bubble bazookas, explosive particlizers, and protonic amplifiers), so naturally they were beaten senseless by the shirtless guy with the mace.  They did, at least have the decency to choose a hawk-themed acronym, so that Hawkman could fight them with less embarrassment.

Stupid CIA.  I bet it's full of GIRLS.

Unlike Hawkman, Aquaman didn't even pretend to need the CIA's help to fight his evil organization of choice, the broadly named Organization for General Revenge and Enslavement. OGRE's fussy about who they work for: "I wish to hire you to revenge myself on those who usurped my father's throne with a democratic movement, and then enslave our hated neighboring country of Backyardistan". "Oh, I'm sorry-- OGRE only does general revenge and enslavement, not specific requests. But we'll send you links to some other evil organizations that do targeted mercenary work."  

But OGRE wasn't fussy about who it hired, including losers like Fire-Haired Karla and the fat perv, The Invisible Un-Thing. (don't ask).  

Now, it's a little less ridiculous to have Dick Grayson as a spy, since he doesn't have Aquaman's superpowers or Hawkman's, um.... wingedness.  But putting him in SPYRAL-- a spy organization that has the word SPY right there in its name, so no one thinks otherwise--has pretty much doomed it to campy stupidity right from the get-go.  Of course, that will be offset by angst of "Robin's got a gun! Will he shoot...to kill?!"

Let's see. Dick Grayson is the presumptive heir to the Wayne fortune, can do anything (he was the Boy Wonder, after all), and has been an independent operator, a team leader, and the partner to the most revered crimefighter on his planet.  "I'm going to join a morally questionable international spy organization!" is perhaps the least credible decision DC could have him make.  

I tell....the DCU is smelling more and more like it's headed to its next reboot next year.


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Black and White

White Guy #1
Writer


White Guy #2
Scientist


White Guy #3
Billionaire heir philanthropist playboy civic leader wealthy person


White Guy #4
Royalty


White Gal #1
Royalty/demigoddess


Black Guy #1
Marine


Black Guy #2

Athlete


Black Guy #3


Football player


Black Guy #4
Loud Black Lad/fashionisto


Black Gal #1
Supermodel


Now, I'll admit I'm not being entirely fair. Jefferson Pierce became a teacher.  Marines aren't stupid (that's what the Army's for) and Jon Stewart is an engineer.  Plus, I'm omitting such characters as the brilliant technologist John Henry Irons. 

Here's some balance, then:

Bonus Black Guy:
One of the smartest people on the planet

Bonus White Guy:
Klutz/congenital idiot.
And yet...

I still say that for various reasons our society, even if only subconsciously, values black people for their physical prowess and attributes, rather than their intelligence and acumen.  I believe it's a vestige of American slavery, where slaves were valued for their use as laborers.

You could make a case that:
(a) most black characters were created later than most white characters, at a time when heroes were more likely to have humble origins;
(b) if you start including more characters, such as Steel, in the list above, that the disparity between the treatment of white and black characters diminishes; or
(c) as more new characters are created any such imbalance will lessen.

You could make those cases. But I'm not sure I'd buy them.  

You may find my theory about the ingrained "slave labor values" ridiculous or too distasteful to accept. Okay. Then let's pause to look at the exposed thighs, abs, and cleavage of black men:


Size matters.


Shocking, really.
Oooo, artsy.
Oh, Tyroc.

You almost never see this kind of costume treatment for white male characters (excepting Plastic Man).  Of course, you DO see it for female white characters.  Almost as if our society were valuing women mostly ... for their physical attributes.

I don't mean to make too big a deal out of this.  But I do think it's a real thing, and something we need to pay attention to, lest it continue indefinitely.

You're welcome to dismiss or contest my theory.  But at least think about it, in the process.


Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Finally.!

It seems DC is finally in on the joke.


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Monday, July 07, 2014

Bombo is no longer your friend

As Kimbareta Shakespeare wrote, "How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is to have a thankless elephant."

Unlike the devious and sexually perverse octopus, the faithful elephant is known for its long memory of those it cherishes and its undying loyalty.  It's nearly impossible to lose the affections of an elephant...unless you are inveterate embittered jackass Congo Bill.

"Egads, even my Giant Peanut Butter Fudge Trap won't stop him!"

If you think Green Arrow villains are bad, you should read some Congo Bill.  Not a lot of colorful villains in the Congo (outside of the government), so the most interesting rogues in his Rogue's Gallery are...elephants.

When Janu finally figures out that Bill makes up the Unwritten Law of the Jungle on the fly, it won't be pretty.

Wouldn't it be GREAT, by the way, if the Flash had a elephant villain in his rogue's gallery? Say, a psychedelic Ganesha Guru, who had perception-bending powers?

This one's for free, DC; get to work on it.

Anyway, being no Barry Allen, Congo Bill has limited tolerance for rogues. Even ones who are obviously gentle in nature.
Bombo's lighter-than-air shoes didn't work out nearly as well as his cold-gun.

Rather than just let Bombo loose in some unpopulated area, Congo Bill leaps at the chance to follow The Unwritten Law of the Jungle and shoot him.  Because Congo Bill is from Mega City.

That's it, Janu; just close your eyes, bury your head and quietly sob to yourself.
Just like every Saturday night in Bill's tent.

Bill is his usual supportive self about it, though.

"Why, who knows? There could be another elephant RIGHT BEHIND US.
Don't look, though."

Naturally, it turns out Bombo was being framed.  Although who could blame him anyway?  If I spent all my time with Congo Bill, I'd turn against humans, too.  No wonder the jungle gods eventually turned Bill into a part-time gorilla.

Since shooting elephants is about as heroic as Congo Bill gets, he manages to squeeze off a non-heroic haiku as he presumptively damns his pachyderm pal:

"Hey, Janu, I rented us a movie for tonight; Old Yeller."

No use blowing that
whistle, Janu... Bombo is
no longer your friend.

What haiku can YOU compose to commemorate poor Bombo or condemn Congo Bill?



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