Sunday, July 31, 2005

Character Donations #59-60: Cannon & Sabre

DC does have an excess of characters, so Devon of Seven Hells and I have been "donating" some to Marvel. Devon's latest donation was of Vigilante II, III, and IV (even though IV's not appeared yet!).

But DC does NOT have an excess of gay characters, so, believe me, I'm not strongly motivated to lose any of the ones it has. Yet, as a DC fan, I am made of stern moral stuff, so justice must be done. And so, it is with a semi-heavy heart that I now donate two characters who first appeared as Vigilante (II) villains: Cannon & Sabre.

In April 1984, Cannon & Sabre were introduced in Vigilante #5, written by Marv Wolfman. Cannon & Sabre were created by Marv Wolfman. All Marv Wolfman characters belong in the Marvel Universe. Therefore, Cannon & Sabre belong in the Marvel Universe.

They were gay; that's okay. They were villains; that's okay, too. They were lovers; that's really okay, because gay characters often aren't allowed to have relationships for fear that what readers will accept in the abstract they will reject when it becomes concrete. Okay, Marv; props for all that, then.

But that's as far as the good goes.

Cannon & Sabre use unnatural Wolfmanese to hit you over the head with their relationship. For example .... "m'love". Now, I know a good many gay people. Enough to fill several football stadiums (I mean, not that we'd ever GO to one, of course!). Yet I have NEVER heard a single ONE call ANYONE "m'love" under ANY circumstances ... even in jest. Then again, I don't know any straight people who talk like the straight characters in a Wolfman book either.

Cannon & Sabre have classically stupid codenames. Marvel characters are usually named after some noun that relates to their power, or a pun, or a "cute" pairing with another character. Cloak & Dagger are the classic example. What actually happens is that a writer needs some characters, grabs a random phrase out of their mental dictionary and conjures up someone to go with the words in the phrase. It's like City of Heroes meets Madlibs. "Meet FOLD, who can manipulate matter and space, SPINDLE, who fires gale-force spikes, and MUTILATE, the man-crushing giant!"

Cannon & Sabre. have the WRONG stupid codenames. Cannon is an expert with sharp pointy stuff. Sabre is a munitions expert. Hardy har har, Marv; what witty comic book irony! I bet that SLAYED them at the Wizard offices! Pass the wretching bucket, please...

Cannon & Sabre are assassins. Costumed assassins are very Marvel. DC does villains. Wacked out, hairbrained, fish-poisoning, baby-suffocating, disintegration-tube-wielding, villains. When DC villians kill people, they don't kill assignments for money; they kill strangers or enemies for fun. That's why DC villains evoke fear and Marvel villains evoke pity.

Cannon, Sabre, m'love; you gotta go, guys. Besides .... those outfits! I mean, eek. Cannon (obviously the domestic one) wears a full-body oven mitt and brandishes one of the prongs for testing whether your cake is done. Sabre (the butch one, I guess) apparently wears pirate boots while playing paintball. Girls, please, go shopping ... in the Marvel Universe.

Oh, and if Northstar's alive nowadays, give him my regards!

It's Official!

The results of our poll on, "What's your favorite criticism of Hal?"

Hal's snitty. 3%
Hal's a sexist pig. 21%
Hal's a jackass. 34%
Hal's a windbag. 5%
Hal is sketchy. 5%
Hal's a goober. 13%
Hal's a whiny slacker. 11%
Hal's a moron. 8%Notice ... the smart ones (Batman and The Martian Manhunter) aren't particularly surprised.

Cast DC's Next Cinematic Triumph!

As you know, we've been casting what should logically be DC's next cinematic triumph,

"Vibe, The Movie, Meng!".

Slack-jawed yokel Kevin Federline has been in the lead, but, sadly, his agent called and told me he's not available. Apparently, he got married or something recently and needs to devote time to that. Whatever, Kevin! You want to pass up a chance for fame, that's your problem!

Similarly, Freddie Prinze SENIOR's agent called. He's not available at the moment either. Huh. I guess some people get to rest on their laurels!

So we're left with the following candidates. I've included some photos to help, because soon we have to wrap this poll up and get to casting the other parts!

Thomas Faustin? Aaron Diaz? Victor Rasuk? Seth Green?
Freddie Prinze JUNIOR? Talvin Demachio? Mario Lopez?

Give me a couple other suggestions and we'll turn it into a poll.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Just Imagine ... Jack Kirby's Justice League

Stupid Hero Quote

" *UHNNN* I couldn't work up enough penetration-power!"

Oh, dear, I hate it when that happens.

But it's particularly embarrassing when you're a famous superhero. Obviously, this quote is NOT from Uncle Sam, who never has any problem bursting through.

What superhero DID say this, and why?

The Green Arab

I can barely stand it! So much high-powered STUFF happening in the DCU!

What Superman Did! The Fight! What WW Did! What Brother Eye Said! The Arrival of the Calvary in Flash! What's About to Happen to Firestorm! The Secret Society EVERYWHERE!

Could it get any worse, readers?

Puh-lease! The Golden Age Starman faced worse stuff EVERY FRIGGIN' DAY. I mean, it's not like we're up against: THE GREEN ARAB.

Yes, the Green Arab was an Arab avenger decades before it became fashionable. Like all Starman villians he had the uncanny power to menace through the fourth wall, but unlike them he was green. How very disturbing!

The man, the legend, the Green Arab has more menace in ONE word balloon than in a half-dozen DC crossovers.

Just take a gander at the ...

Relentless Dervishes of Death!

Sacred Stones and their Concomitant Temples!

Secret Headquarters with Secret Tunnels-- under YOUR house!

Cryptosexual Imperatives!

DC: now is DEFINITELY the time to bring back the Green Arab. Now, THERE's a comic for our troops over seas...

A Justice League Tradition

Superman beating the snot out of the rest of the Justice League.


Another fine Tradition of the DCU.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Hal, Unjustly Treated!

Poor Hal Jordan.

He was the greatest .... UNTIL mean old Mark Waid retconned him as a sexist pompous, overconfident jackass.



The Absorbascon knows better.

Hal is Snitty

"I'll be in my trailer!" he huffed, storming off the set.

Hal is a snitty, bossy prima dona.

Even to the Atom.

And he's the nice one, too.

Hal is a Pig

I dare you to say that out loud, you sexist pig.

Yeah, I didn't think so. Your ring'd be out of power by the time you could manage to fish it out of where Wonder Woman would shove it.


Hal is a Jackass

Hal is a Pompous, Self-Important Jackass.

Let me repeat that.

Hal is a Pompous, Self-Important Jackass.

Hal is a Windbag

Hal talks too much.

Much, much, too much.

Just loves the sound of his own voice, doesn't he?

Shut up, Hal.

Shut up,
shut up, SHUT UP!

Hal is Sketchy

Nobody in the Justice League trusts Hal.

Not even the Atom.

And he's the nice one.

GL is a Goober

Cool fighter pilot my arse.

Hal is unhip.

Hal makes Clark Kent look like James Bond.

Hal is the Dan Rather of superheroes.

Hal is a Whiny Slacker

Hal's whiny excuse-making and blame-dodging is so common, the other Justice Leaguers don't even get mad about it any more.

They just laugh and laugh behind his back.

Even Atom, the nice one.

Hal Uses His Head

This is Green Lantern being knocked out by a ceiling tile.

Let me repeat that.

This is Green Lantern being knocked out by a ceiling tile.

Even though Barry warned him about it.

Friggin' moron.

Hal is a Dork

Hal is such a dork ...

that even Hal realizes he's a dork.


Character Donations #51-55

Send the villain group Helix to Marvel, and I'll pay the postage!

They wanted to be like the JSA, so they robbed and kidnapped people (what th--?!). Created by a rogue gynecologist, Dr. Love (hardy har har!), Helix accomplished two things: kidnapping Fury and proving once and for all that Roy Thomas should not be allowed to create characters.

Tao Jones: She floats, much like other debris

Penny Dreadful: A human capacitor. At least her name conformed to truth in advertising laws.

Baby Boom: Mary Dahl + Roy Lincoln = Baby Boom

Kritter: I can just hear Roy Thomas ... "It's a fluffy dog with mad hacker skills; the kids will LOVE IT!"

Arak: He blows. Guys like you are a dime a dozen, Arak.

Mr. Bones: If you put Spawn, Etrigran, Dr. Phosphorus, and Captain Hook into a blender, you get a Mr. Bones Smoothie. Wow, Todd McFarlane helped created Mr. Bones? NO WAY!!!

The court found that Mr. Bones was a bad influence on the others, so he was sentenced to Transformative Experience School, where writers reduxed him into a usable form as the head (or is that "skull"?) of DEO. Now he's no longer annoying, merely outre and colorful, so he can stay in DC.

But, as for the rest of Helix ... Pun-based codenames? A mutated mod squad of misfits? Villains who think of themselves as heroes? Come now! I think Roy Thomas forgot which company he was working for when he created Helix, who were obviously designed to fight X-Factor.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

I Love Uncle Sam!

I was just a wee lad when my family moved here from the Old Country. Back in Bialya, I knew how to feel about my country: bad. But once we were in the U.S. of A., I was in confusion. Should I hate this country, too?

Thank the Founding Fathers, comic books had the answer. Yes, with covers like these, Uncle Sam taught me to love this country with a red hot burning fever.

"He does it again!" Half naked, he hammers out his sword of victory into fiery white-hot straightness! His little Buddy in the background leans over intently, eager to provide whatever Sam needs to bring that victory home. How could such a scene not enflame the soul of any red-blooded you

At right, a stripped down Unc is poised to shove his projectile of freedom in that waiting aperture in the arsenal of democracy, as fresh-faced Buddy struggles to handle his own projectile, which is almost more than he knows what to do with *chuckle*!

Bursting through in another stirring adventure, Sam inspired feeling in a
young Bialyan refugee like none I'd ever known and I began to love my country with swelling patriotism. If only I could be a Buddy to Uncle Sam!

Here, Uncle Sam can barely keep his hat on and Buddy needs to hang on to keep from being blown off while Sam, with a major piece of ordinance between his legs, joyously rides his way into young patriots' hearts, again bursting through. I tell you, as I grew from a Bialyan boy to an American adolescent, it was inspiring images like this that kept me on the straight and narrow.

If only all comics had been this wholesome. Why, Frederic Wertham would have died in deserved obscurity! There would have been no shameless '60s or selfish '70s if our nation
had been filled with men modeling their lives on this sinewy super-patriot and his eager young partner.

We still see Uncle Same, occasionally. Partnered with his friends, the heavily mascara-ed Black Condor, Roy Lincoln the Human Condom, the saucy Phantom Lady, the light on his feet Ray, and that young parcel of personal explosive power, Damage.

But somehow ... it's just not the same.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Custom Clix Poll Results

I, the Composite Superman Clix, have been asked by the Absorbascon to take time off from my busy schedule of conquering the world, humilitating superheroes, and scraping chewing gum off the floor at the Superman Museum to announce the result of the Custom Clix Poll.

Fools! You had your chance to wage a write-in campaign of behalf of me, the Composite Superman Clix! But instead you voted for the choices given, rejecting ME. For that, I will force you to wear a French maid's costume and sing "I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles", while you watch me melt the other candidates with my heat vision. Then I will kill your favorite hero in an embarrassing way, like blocking their nasal passages with my Elastic Lad powers or Star Boy-ing their brain into superheaviness, thus snapping their necks. Then I will burn "THE JOE MEACH L.E. FIGURE IS MY GOD" onto your forehead using Ultra Boy's flash-vision.

Until then...

Golden Age Starman, 11 votes (THE DRAMA!)
Per Degaton, 9 votes (I remember that...)
Phantom Lady, 8 votes (Hubba-hubba!)
Alfred Pennyworth, 7 votes (Indeed, sir)
The Crime Doctor (This may sting a bit...) & Cat-Man (Roll over, Floyd...), 4 votes
Golden Eagle (a.k.a. SuperChicken), 3 votes
Killer Moth (That's not funny!), 2 votes
Human Flying Fish (Aquaman sucks!), 1 vote

What a Waist!

I've made hundreds of posts here. Spent countless hours trying to entice readers here so that my occasional Deep Thoughts About Comics would have an audience. Stayed awake nights developing the Dynastic Centerpiece Model, pondering the differences between Marvel and DC, honing my understanding of what makes comics fun, moving, significant.

*Sigh* Still, BY FAR the search that brings most people to this site is "superpowerless except from the waist down". Aaah, shut up, Hal, you smug so-and-so.

Speaking of Hal, I'm passing on to you a request from J-Sinn Star, the composer/performer of the SuperHero Radio classic hit "Green Lantern". He wants to hear what you think of his song! Comment here or let him know by e-mail.

If you've never heard it, click on the link to SuperHero Radio and listen until it plays in rotation. Oh, if you accidently click on the "donate $1 to help keep SuperHero Radio running", that would be okay, too...

Bye Bye Birdie!

So, um, I'm guessing from this pic from the upcoming Infinite Crisis that Black Condor II won't be part of the new DCU (looks like he's being sent to KFC).

Oh, dear. Now who will protect us from rabid raccoons, then suffer a crisis of conscience about it?

Although he's a hottie, Black Condor II (does he even have a name?) has always been a unrelenting sourpuss. Dude, you can fly; enjoy it!

But no, during the Dark Age, DC needed to give us a grim & gritty version of one of the Golden Age's most fabulous characters (and I do mean fabulous!)

DC, don't let this opportunity go to waste! As long as Black Condor II is kaput, give a new FUN Black Condor. Basically, a male counterpart of glorious, sexy Phantom Lady.

Hey, I want my comics to be serious, trust me. What's going on now in DC right now delights me enormously. But if we need deadly seriousness in our core characters, let's leaven it with some bright and shiny in our lesser characters, shall we?

Because we can also rape them and burn their corpses later, you know!

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Made for Flying

*Sigh*. If you don't keep the Gay Bloggers Union happy, things can turn nasty. Last time I defied them, they broke into my house with a hairpin, painted my dog's toenails and rearranged my furniture. I felt so ... violated.

Anyway, they say I've been wasting too much bandwidth on unimportant things like the three shocking events in tomorrow's comics. I've been instructed to focus on more important things. Things like...

Power Girl's boots. Girlfriend is styling!

High-heeled pirate boots that accentuate her gorgeous gams but STILL have classic "crimefighting treads". I almost fainted when I saw them. It's like Batman and Zatanna left their footwear together in some closet on the satellite, and these boots sprang from their union.

They state emphatically, "In us are all divisions reconciled. We are the ultimate synthesis of the Crimefighting Footwear Dialectic. We are the Power Boots."

Just as Power Girl fully expresses both her "feminine" and "masculine" attributes in a unified way that highlights them both, so too do the Power Boots. Not since Alan Scott's gladiator-strap golden jellies have we seen so bold, so transcendently meaningful a statement on the masculine/feminine dichotomy in superheroic footwear.

In the final analysis, who really cares where Power Girl comes from?

Where do her BOOTS come from?!?!?!?

Character Donation #49

What was I thinking??!?!!

If the KGBeast takes NKVDemon with him when donated to Marvel, then Firestorm takes Firehawk!

Firehawk. She doesn't enjoy being superhero. She's not very good at it. Her powers come and go. Recently, she even quit (again): "Firehawk ... No More!" Marvel invented that kind of "heroic ambivalence", folks.

Her principle function has been as superbabe girlfriend for Ronnie Raymond, and he's not really dating at the moment.

Face it; she's all about "the look" and you know it. Bye, Firehawk! Give my regards to Phoenix and Storm!

Wednesday Warning

If you are not planning on getting your DC comics tomorrow .... change your plan.

If you regularly walk to your comic book store ... run.

If you don't think you're going to buy Wonder Woman, Flash, or Firestorm ... think again.

You have been warned.

Monday, July 25, 2005

I Have Seen The Light

Can you guess whose enemy this is?

This is "The Light", whose DRAMA (and heavy inking) clearly mark him as a foe of the original Starman.

Nowadays in order to be named "The Light", you'd have to have some shiny, luxiferian powers. But in the Golden Age you called yourself The Light simply because you could, simply because you were so goldarned friggin' EVIL that people went blind if they stared at you for too long.

Quickly, quickly, before you go blind, perceive...

Infuriated befoilment!
Dismissal of deception!
Increasingly loud promises of universal destruction!

Thank the gods The Light is glancing off panel; if he were looking straight AT you through the fourth wall, you'd be blind or senseless, or both, by now. These are the kind of people Starman dealt ... with ... daily. You WILL respect Starman!

Note to future artists: if normal bodily appendages distract from DRAMA, you may omit them and focus only the villain's flatness of head and wickedness of facial hair.

Note to future boyfriends of mine (Hi, Phil!): anything mentioned by a Starman villain is a lovely and appropriate gift. Thought-slaves, disintegration tubes, earthquake machines; anything will do, really.

Character Donation #47

Where the KGBeast goes, can the NKVDemon be far behind?

As recently pointed out at Seven Hells, the KGBeast, with his S&M attire, pun-based name, Cold War ideology, and extreme behavior would blend in better at Marvel than at DC. So, too, his protege, the NKVDemon, who, like Captain America, was a serumized super-soldier.

The original (Gregor Dosynski) was shot and blown up, and succeeded by not ONE but TWO copycats taking his (idiotic) codename.

The best part of what DC tried to make us swallow about this guy was that he was a "master of disguise". What did he disguise himself as ... a truck?

Can't you picture the thought-balloon? "Foolish Americans, never vill they guess beneath this facade of innocent Catholic schoolgirl lurks ... NKVDemon!"

DC, with its roots in the gangster era, is at home with crime, urban despair, and over the top mobsters. Marvel, with its roots in the Cold War, is at home with international political conflict, clashes in political ideology, and splashy assassins.

The NKVDemon needs to be fighting Captain America, not Batman!

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Rex! Here, boy!

Were you confused by this week's issue of Day of Vengeance, where Detective Chimp says a "doggie friend" led him to the Fountain of Youth?

Don't be; it's Rex the Wonder Dog.

In Jan/Feb 1952, DC debuted The Adventures of Rex the Wonder Dog (that's the cover of issue 1 down below, which is now darned expensive). The next time there's a "when did the Silver Age begin?" debate, end it immediately; according to the people who started the Silver Age, this comic is its beginning.

Rex made Lassie look like a special ed puppy. Rex could ride a horse, brandish a torch, fight dinosaurs, wrestle octopi, drive a stagcoach, ride dolphins, wear an indian headdress, and, my personal favorite, "smell evil walking." How could this be? Rex had been injected by a super-soldier-serum by an army doctor (who got shot immediately afterwards), thus gaining increased strength, stamina, intelligence, and probably poo that smelled like rose petals. Yes, friends, in the DC Universe, Captain America is a dog.

Like most comic book dogs (and people), Rex was white.

Starting in his fourth issue, Rex had a back-up feature: Bobo the Detective Chimp. The origin (and degree) of Bobo's intelligence has changed over the years (the whole "talking chimp" part is fairly new), but his trip with Rex to the Fountain of Youth has consistently been the explanation for his not aging.

The Adventures of Rex lasted 46 issues, the last in Nov/Dec 1959. That's one issue more than the Will Payton Starman comic, by the way, but you probably don't remember him either.

But Rex and Bobo go on, lurking about the corners of the DCU, working on and off for the Bureau of Amplified Animals (which Grant Morrison was counting on your not knowing about when he wrote WE3).

So Rex is out there in the DCU; DC, shine a light on him!

He'd be a pal for Krypto. He'd be a credible (in a comic-book sense) Bat-Hound. Even better, he could be the animal companion of the Atom. That's not as stupid as it sounds, and here's why. Rex's first two owners were a soldier and his kid brother. But his third owner was John Rayburn, a scientist who was able to shrink things (before there was a Ray Palmer, I might add), and with whom he had a number of microscopic adventures. Where would you put a hyper-intelligent dog who's used to adventuring in the microscopic world, other than with the Atom?

Saturday, July 23, 2005


Okay, you've probably noticed that I think Gerry Conway is Satan's Cabana Boy. How can I despise the man who created Vibe, you ask? Does a husband have to like his in-laws?

Anyway, here's some credit where credit is due ... to Gerry Conway.

Conway is the only writer I know of (other than Morrison's one-panel of aquatelepathic attack in the Hyperclan story) who understood that Aquaman's "mental telepathy" would have an affect on anything with a brain, not just fish.

People make fun of Aquaman because he "talks to fish" (well, that and other reasons). But as a general rule, throughout his history Aquaman does NOT talk to fish. He commands them (along with other sea creatures). That's sensible; marine brains aren't wired for language (heck, most simian brains can barely handle it). But they do know all about instinctive imperatives. Must swim. Must hide. Must mate.

Seems pretty clear what Aquaman does is impose his will on the fish and his imperatives take the place of their regular ones. Must disarm harpoonist. Must spell out "S.O.S." with our bodies. Must ram Mantaship.

Unless you go all new-age with some hoo-hah like "the Clear" (a cousin of "the Green" and "the Red"), marine animals brains aren't intrinsically different than land animal brains (except for being, on average, simpler). If Aquaman's mind can command sea creatures it is reasonable to assume it could, to some degree, influence (or "push" as Max Lord used to say) other ones. Even humans (particularly ones with simple brains, like Steel). Apparently Gerry Conway's the only writer smart enough to realize this (I can NOT believe I just wrote that sentence).

It explains a lot, too, particularly how a guy with little social interaction is such a "natural leader". You can laugh at him all you want, but when Aquaman talks, people shut up and listen. Ever seen Batman, or any other JLAer, mouth off to Aquaman? No. He's a freak and foreigner by Atlantean standard, but still they used to bow and scrape before him. The man once made Senator Neptune Perkins wet his pants, for cryin' out loud.

People want to obey Aquaman because he doesn't have "aqua-telepathy" (the ability to talk to fish), he's got "alpha-telepathy" (the ability to impose his will on others). And why shouldn't he? If they gave it to the ridiculous "Provoke" and Max Lord, certainly the writers at DC should realize that Aquaman has it.

Even Gerry Conway knew that.

When I Was Born

When I was born...

Sgt. Rock was telling his little blond friend "Sparrow" to "open up".

Oh, Frank!

Friday, July 22, 2005

Character Donation #45: Mirage

Here's one Mirage I wish would disappear!

If you don't remember Mirage... well, good for you. She comes from the New Teen Titans Annual #7 (1991); note that, as a general rule, any character introduced in any Annual is either slapdash, cheezy, or just plain wrong.

Let's send her to Marvel where she'll be fine. Why, you ask?

She grew up a street urchin in Brazil. I bet she even picked a pocket or two; sound familiar?

Instead of having a name tangentially evocative of her power (like say, "Gypsy" or "Spellbinder"), she is named, in the Marvel tradition, directly after the power itself: Mirage.

She was created only to complicate the social dynamics of Wolfman's Marvelesque New Teen Titans, where, in a typical Marvel "supergroup as dysfunctional family" plot, she fell for Nightwing and impersonated Starfire in order to be with him (didn't Mystique do that?). A sleeper agent like Terra, she found herself torn between good and evil. Oh, and she's a single mother (of course).

Another morally ambiguous, self-tortured, self-conflicted imperfect person with a one-note power, family difficulties, and unrequited love = Marvel. Danielle Moonstar, move over!

Joe Quesada, Mirage is in the mail!

Crossover Crack Babies

I don't mind bad crossover events. These things happen. After all, we can just forget them if we want and hypertime lets us do so guilt-free.

Except when we can't. Which is almost always.

Yes, for every awful multiseries event that we hate and want to forget there is always at least one giant conceptual crack baby, some DCU state of affairs that is inextricably tied to the Stupid Crossover Event (SCE). You can't ignore the horror of the SCE because you've inherited its child as part of the DCU. This is most annoying.

Pictured is my particular bete noir of these Crossover Crack Babies: Slabslide Penitentiary.

As most DC readers know, Slabside (a.k.a. "The Slab") is in Antarctica (near the magnetic South Pole, in fact). This may sound fun and make for some stark drawings but it is SHEER LUNACY.

The inaccessibility and inhospitability of the Antarctican coast, let alone its mountainous interior, is nearly inconceivable for the average person. I can believe a man can fly. I can believe in shape-shifting mind-reading superheroes from what we know to be a barren planet. I can even believe that Snapper Carr's presence never resulted in Batman abandoning his commitment not to kill. But I cannot accept the idea that a high-tech, maximum security prison could be safely plopped down to operate in the middle of a continent that most microbes can't endure.

Where does such insanity come from? Fittingly enough, the Joker. Slabslide was originally located, oh, somewhere else, until it accidently got relocated to Antarctica courtesy of Little Mister Miracle Shilo Norman, Mult-Man (!), Mr. Mind (!!), the re-animated corpse of Black Mass (don't ask), and some redhead still wearing stormtrooper drag from the SD Comicon (see pic above).

Why is the Joker to blame? It took place in issue 6 of Joker's Last Laugh, a crossover everyone wants to forget.

Except now we can't because one of the DCU's most famous prisons is now in the middle of friggin' Antarctica.

Thanks, DC!


If ...

  • Despero is behind un-lobotomizing the Secret Society;
  • Checkmate is infiltrating the JLA;
  • and Max Lord's powers have gotten unusually strong;

then ...

  • I'm betting Despero is behind Checkmate and has been using his Third Eye to enhance Max's powers.

After all, playing chess against the Justice League IS what Despero does.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Guess the Dial!

Here's a little game for you Heroclix fans.

I recently put in an order with Master Modder Dale for several custom Heroclix. For each of these, I asked Dale to put the figure on a pre-existing dial.

Here's the list of figures; which dial did I ask to have them put on?

The Crime Doctor

Per Degaton

Killer Moth

The Human Flying Fish

Phantom Lady

The Golden Age Starman

Golden Eagle

The Fadeaway Man


Here's a big hint. In order to avoid duplication with existing DC figure, all but one of the dials are from MARVEL Heroclix.

Comic quotes

Quotes from my Comics this Week

JSA Classified
"As long as I can juggle semi-trucks and leap over buildings, I'm fine."
For the record, I've deduced who Power Girl's parents are, and I did so during her medical exam (long before the patented Geoff Johns last-page reveal). Most people can't even BLINK while watching Power Girl's medical exam...

Day of Vengeance
"Honey, are you some kind of superhero?"
I don't know who this new girl is, but I LOVE her Dad already. Finally someone who acts like they are actually used to living in the DC universe.

"Oops for you."
Robin was hot in this issue. Really hot. Like, "I need to turn myself into the authorities now for thinking inappropriate things about the Boy Wonder" kind of hot.

Adventures of Superman
"Are you ready to kneel before the Lord?"
I am officially freaked out. And impressed. You got me good with this one, Rucka.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Character Donations #39-43

The Hangmen.

Good lord, who's responsible for putting this bunch in the DCU?

Like any good Marvel X-group, they are carefully composed for ethnogeographic diversity (an American, a Japanese, a Puerto Rican, and, yes, I know Puerto Ricans are Americans, a Russian, and a *snort* "sadistic Australian"). They each have a stupid "Compoundnoun"-type codename (Breathtaker!, Provoke!, Stranglehold!, Shock Trauma!, and, gods help me say it, Killshot!) based on how they kill people.

  • Killshot! Ooo, an EVIL Cyborg! An evil RUSSIAN Cyborg! "Killshot" is what should happen to whoever came up with that name.
  • Shock Trauma! Ooo, an EVIL Static Shock! An evil JAPANESE Static Shock! What kind of moron names himself "Shock Trauma"? Maybe it sounds better in Japanese.
  • Stranglehold! She's EIGHT FOOT TALL. Guess how she kills people? Me, I'd be more likely to hire a guy with a gun. Eight foot tall woman comes running up to strangle you-- you can either shoot her or just jump in a Volkwagen or an elevator car.
  • Provoke! He makes people want to kill themselves! Obviously a power he inherited from the writer.
  • Breathtaker! She sucks wind! Well, no argument there.

I swear whoever comes up with these crappy groups must create boy bands as a second job ("You, you'll be the one with Mental Powers." "Um, no, I'm the Cute One, sir..."). These people are supposed to be "the next generation in assassins", and they'd be laughed out of Legion Try-Outs in one panel: "I'm sorry, your power of super-wind-sucking would be useless during our conflicts in airless space! Next!"

I'm pretty sure that they only appeared one time in the DCU (Teen Titans 21/22) ... then the editors came back from lunch. Ship this motley crew off to Marvel where they can become some sort of X-villains, because in the DCU they are nothing but "Why?-villains".

You Fiend!

If you're a regular reader of the Absorbascon, it won't be hard to guess where THIS panel comes from.

Condemnation of Derisive Former Colleagues!
Vengeance Swearing!
Flaming Transoceanic Multinational Armed Conflict!
Invisible Fifth Columnists!


Poor Doris. She can't handle the concentrated drama of a Starman villain like the Mist. Against her will (and the advice of her agent), the drama forces the back of her hand to her upturned forehead and pries from her mouth a phrase you thought no one ever said, not even in the comic books:


I don't know about you, my friends, but after seeing this panel, I need a stiff drink...!

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Character Donations 1-37

Do you live in the town you were born in?

Probably not. Many young adults realize that their hometowns aren't really where they "fit in" and that they need to move elswhere.

Well, some comic book characters are like that, too!

In a recent "post exchange" with Seven Hells, we each talked about a character created in one comic book universe that really seemed as though it should belong elsewhere. Devon suggested that Killer Croc, at least as his character has evolved, really belongs at Marvel (specifically, in Spiderman's rogue's gallery).

As we talked about it more, we realized, GOSH, there are lots of DC characters who seem like they belong better in the Marvel Universe. And since DC has no shortage of usable characters, why not be charitable and give some to the friendly neighborhood competition? One man's garbage is another man's gold, and characters that seem awkwardly out of place in the DCU could be stars in the different milieu of the Marvelverse.

In fact, we're willing to bet there are at least, let's say, 365 "donatable" characters DC could give Marvel. Together, the Absorbascon and Seven Hells are going to figure out which ones they are!

I'll give this venture a big headstart by listing the first 37 (!) DC characters who need to be donated to Marvel:

Darkseid, Orion, Azaya, Lightray, Metron, Takion, Desaad, Beautiful Dreamer, Big Bear, Mark Moonrider, Serifan, Vykin, Kalibak, Steppenwolf, Tigra, Mantis, Mortalla, Justeen, Granny Goodness, Stompa, Lashina, Knockout, Bloody Mary, Bernadeth, Gillotina, Vermin Vundabar, Malice Vundabar, Speed Queen, Kanto, Glorious Godfrey, Amazing Grace, Mad Harriet, the Black Racer, Yuga Khan, Heggra, Sleez, Forager.

Yes, the bulk of the Fourth World/Forever People characters feel like they belong in the Marvelverse, for the obvious reason that Jack Kirby created them. Understand, this is not a criticism of these characters; they just need to go where they "fit" better. No matter how many commenters swear allegiance to the 4th Worlders, the fact remains that they stick out like sore thumbs and DC has never successfully been able to integrate them into its "native" mythos.

Barda and Mister Miracle? They actually work in the DCU. Just retcon their backstories a tad (okay-- a lot) and Mister Miracle ("protege of Zatara and Merry Girl of 1000 Gimmicks!") and Barda (renegade Amazon) could take their place in the JSA....

Now. Only 328 to go; take it away, Seven Hells...!

Laziness is a Villainous Virtue?

Someone reminded me that when I posted my "Villainous Virtues" series, almost no one was reading this blog. So, because I'm lazy today, er, I mean, to share those classic posts with a new generation of readers, I present below:

The Villainous Virtue series.

Villainous Virtue

Well, I was going to write a book about this, but with the invention of the weblog, I guess I'll just do it this way on line.

Anyone can learn virtue from heroes. Where's the fun in that? The real challenge is in looking at comic book villains and seeing what virtues we can learn from them. According to Aristotle, Socrates said, "No man knowingly does evil." If we just put ourself in their mindset for a bit, it's amazing what we can learn about living an outstanding life (with world domination as a possible side-benefit)!

Let's begin....

Villainous Virtue: Confidence!

If there is one prerequisite to villainhood, it must be confidence. Confidence not inspired by ability, experience, or logic; confidence inspired simply by... itself. The confidence to say (out loud, of course):

"Garbed in this garish costume, I, Dr. Scheme, shall conquer the world using only easily broken instruments, followers with glass jaws and atrocious aim, and my expensively byzantine plans!"

Do you think Dr. Scheme has trouble asking for a raise or saying hello to that pretty face in the bar? I think not. And I'm sure he's got a ready ray-gun to fall back on, too!

Kobra, on Resilience

"My vengeance will be terrible to behold! They shall fall before me, and my servants will suck the marrow from their very bones!"
Kobra, "JLA: Foreign Bodies"

Has Kobra ever actually hurt anybody? Haunted by his brother's ghost, saddled with a misspelled code name, a terrible lisp, and the giggle-inducing honorific of "Naga Naga", Kobra would be a good enemy for, say, Sylvester the Cat. But, having survived the cancellation of his series (what, 30 years ago?), Kobra continues to tackle the entire JLA or the entire JSA, an inspiration for us all. He is confidence AND resilience, personified.

Of course, you don't hear him called " the most dangerous man alive" much that he's dead.

Resilience does have its limits.

The Ocean Master, on Resilience

"I did not anticipate the reaction you'd have to my challenge. It cost me a loss of face. Then again, I am new to my intended sovereignty, and have not yet learned to account for all eventualities."

Ocean Master, "King of the Sea"

You have been trounced repeatedly, publicly, by Aquaman, of all people. You take a distant second to Black Manta, an autistic guy with a diving helmet, a large shrimp fork, and a vocoder. You style yourself as the "Ocean Master" even though a few gulps of seawater would block your lungs and your brain would cease to function in about two or three minutes and for years to come Aquaman would force the guppies that watched you drown retell the story at every single underwater cocktail party and convention gathering.

But it is not your fault. And you are unbowed.

Good gods, is there ANYONE more inspiring than the Ocean Master?

Villainous Virtues: Fairness!

Many (blind and uncaring) people think villains have no sense of fairness.

Absurd! The fools!

Fairness is extremely important to villains. Now, their sense of what is fair may not exactly conform to Mr. Terrific's, but these aren't your run-of-the-mill people. The point is, they are strongly motivated by their sense of fairness, just as we should be.

Although we ourselves need not let it become the basis for a righteous indignation that spurs us to poison an entire city's water supply in a decades-delayed reaction to a childhood incident with a squirt-gun.

Clayface, on Confidence

We mentioned that Confidence is the most essential villainous virtue, but we didn't give any examples. Let's change that, shall we?

"So they think mere guards can stop me? Fools! The utter fools!"
Basil "Clayface" Karlo, "Clayface Walks Again!"

It would be hard to have less reason for confidence than Basil Karlo. He's an over the hill, has-been actor, whose principal weapons are a letter-opener and a make-up kit.

Does he take on Madame Fatal? NO! He tangles with Batman, repeatedly.

Confidence, people.

By the way, if you're ever having a bad day, just find a time and place where you can stand up and say, "Fools! The utter fools!"

It's astonishing how much better it makes you feel.

Dr. Poison, on Politeness

Don't you think it's nice when villains give their opponents dinner or such before they kill them? I remember how impressed I was as a kid when Mr. Freeze did that for Batman on the old tv show. It's just so civilized. Politeness is definitely a villainous virtue.

Wonder Woman's villains are a pretty polite bunch, I guess because, you know, they're fighting a lady. Take Dr. Poison:

"I am the Princess Maru. My genius will destroy America!"
Dr. Poison, untitled first appearance against Wonder Woman.

Remember, even if you are a cross-dressing Japanese princess and biochemistry genius hell-bent on destroying a freedom-loving democracy and all who would defend it...

it is still polite to introduce oneself.

Killer Moth, on Confidence

Confidence, as we've discussed, s the most essential of the villainous virtues.

"Ah, my Trophy Room! The cases are empty now, but soon they'll be filled with souvenirs of the greatest crimes in the city's history! And when one day Batman meets Killer Moth, I shall take the greatest trophy of all... the mask of Batman!"
Killer Moth, first appearance.

Killer Moth has inspired so many people, in so many ways, that an entire book should be devoted just to him. Even in his first outing he was a paragon of villainous virtue. So confident that he believes battle-scarred, leg-breaking Gotham gangsters who frequently beat the snot out of Batman will hire him as a crime consultant even though he's a rich sissy in a giant moth costume; that he builds a Trophy Room filled with empty cases awaiting souvenirs from his many triumphs; that he assumes his defeat of Batman is inevitable.

One almost feels ... unworthy to turn ones eyes upon such godlike confidence. So, what do you think is in that Trophy Room now? That picture Cavalier took of him with Joker and Luthor during "The Death of Batman" trial? A bootleg copy of his appearance on the Batman TV show that never happened? Photos of Batgirl kicking him down the steps of the Lincoln Memorial?

Killer Moth is the perfect villian, people.

Villainous Virtue: Style!

Dr. Evil understood it. If you're just going to pop someone in the head with gun like a common mugger, then you're no better than a common mugger (pass THAT on to Maxwell Lord, OMAC!).

A real villain understands that elaborate death-traps (preferably involving giant props), holding cities for ransom, forcing your enemy to wear an asbestos jackass costume to escape a raging fire ... all these are about style.

Although sharks with laser-beams on their heads is a bit gauche, in my humble opinion.

The Riddler, on Planning

Planning is one of the premier villainous virtues. Villains plan a lot. Obsessively. Elaborately.
Justify Full
The patron villain of planning? Why, the Riddler, of course. One of the many reasons we adore him!

"With my usual foresightedness, I deposited a large amount of cash with a bondsman--who will put it up as security for my bail! It won't be long till I get out of your jail-cell -- free once again to go about my business!"
The Riddler, "The Riddler's Prison-Puzzle Problem"

Another reason to love the Riddler is that he can start a sentence with the phrase "with my usual foresightedness...."

Oh, sure; snicker at the Riddler all you want...but he's still the guy who deduced who Batman was. Because he is a master planner, the Riddler remains vital decades after hundreds of would-be world-despots, deformed psychos, and criminal kingpins started their permanent dirt-naps.

Other villains get caught because they're stupid and leave clues accidently; the Riddler gets caught because he's smart and leaves clues on purpose.

Plus, the Riddler--out of all villains, past and present--seems to be the only one with a passable grasp of the basics of our legal system and how to use it to his advantage, as any common mugger would do.