Saturday, July 02, 2005

Bring Back O.G.R.E.!

Now that Hal Jordan is back as Green Lantern, what will the H.E.A.T. people do?

I hope they'll switch their energies to advocating the return of: O.G.R.E., the Organization for General Revenge and Enslavement, a recurring Aquaman foe of the 1960s.

Why, there they are now in the person of "The Huntress", that bikinied beauty bothering Arthur and Mera with her Underwater Disturbing Concentric Ring Bazooka. A bikini; yes, that's just what I would wear while attacking the sovreigns of the sea. A yellow bikini with polka dots, just like in the song.

Perhaps it's not a raygun. It could be a submarine music cannon purchased from the Pied Piper by O.G.R.E., who're using groovy go-go tunes to force the Aquacouple to irresistibly frug themselves to death. I mean, it is the 1960s and they broke out the "go-go checkerboard" for the first time on this issue, so it's possible. And dangnation, Arthur's got moves I haven't seen outside of a golden cage suspend above the dance floor! You go, girl!

Nah. Mera may be a wacked out other-dimensional hippy-chick with her headband and shiny one-piece, but Aquaman's got super-squareness to spare. He'd have no trouble resisting (unlike some undignified heroes who broke into the Batusi during their first TV episode), then he'd give you a lecture about underwater gun safety to boot, while commanding flounder to cover your near-nakedness with kelp.

Back to O.G.R.E. These aren't wild-eyed acid-scarred loons; these are the Executives of Evil, the MBAs of Malevolence. It's not about personal revenge and enslavement; it's just general. We don't care who you are, we'll be revenging ourselves on your neighborhood soon and enslaving you. Nothing personal, just business. You see, we've got you on our TimeTable of Terror. "Now terrorizing Number 47!"

At one point, they hired Black Manta to distract Aquaman for them. So businesslike! I can just see their brown-suited lawyer with a fishbowl on his head handing the underwater pen to Manta, "Now, initial here, here, and finally here..." Now, you know they're players if they can get Black Manta to work for The Man.

If an employee fails, they kill him; saves on paperwork. Their CEO was called the Supreme One, which looks great on a desk nameplate. Once they kidnapped the entire goldarned U.N., which puts the Batman's United Underworld to shame.

DC should update O.G.R.E. a bit and bring them back to bedevil Aquaman. I suppose, in a sense, they have! ProGenTech, which sunk Sub Diego and patented Aquaman's DNA, is just a classier, more modern version of O.G.R.E. , after all...

Friday, July 01, 2005

"Holy Butt Blasts, Batman!"

As established in previous posts, Batman and Robin are not Perfectly Ordinary Americans.

Perfectly Ordinary Americans do not find themselves trapped in giant bell jars, nor do they engage in conversations like...

"Gosh, Batman, how will we escape this giant bell jar that we find ourselves trapped in?"

"There's no time for me to cut through the container with the Tiny Oxy-Acetylene Torch that I carry in my utility belt, Robin, because giant human-capturing bell jars have been vastly improved since I was trapped in one during the Case of the Chemical Syndicate (Detective No. 27), and using it would only accelerate the rapid depletion of our remaining supply of oxygen, which is already dangerously low due to my excessive exposition."

"I'm--I'm feeling faint, Batman. Having trouble ... controlling breakfast burrito! I'm ... sorry, Batman!"

"Burrito? That's it, Robin, you've done it again! While I can't use my Tiny Oxy-Acetylene Torch to cut us out, I can use it to blast us out by igniting the noxious methane-based gas mix you customarily spout from your youthful bunghole. When I give the signal, hold your nose like this and flatuate, Robin; flatuate as you've never flatuated before!"

Whoosh! Crash!

ICONS Revealed!

In September, Wizkids Games is coming out with a new DC Heroclix starter set and a companion expansion called Icons. It's intended as a good "jumping on point" for those not yet playing the game.

The full list of figures is now available! Boy, they weren't kidding when they named it

Starter Figures (all Uniques)
Batman (standing, black cape)
Robin (Dick Grayson)
The Joker (tipping pose)
Harley Quin (pop gun pose)
Hawkgirl (Shiera Hall)

Icons REVs
Batman (posing on gargoyle)
Robin (Tim Drake)
Wonder Woman
Aquaman (waterhand sculpt)
The Joker (Killing Joke sculpt)
Beast Boy

Icons Uniques
Flash (Barry Allen)
Ra's Al Ghul
Lex Luthor (in battle armor)
Brainiac (robot)

Special Mailaway Offer Figures from Wizard Magazine
Batman (standing, blue cape)
Prof. Zoom

Charo and Johnathan Harris

Over at Seven Hells, Devon (who erreth not) has started an interesting conversation about "permanent guest-stars", characters whose role is to show and be 'familiar' in other people's books and stories but aren't central characters themselves.

This hits close to home; my own "Dynastic Centerpiece" model is about how to move Column B heroes into Column A so they might support their own books. Devon asks whether those in Column C should remain there on purpose.

In honor of this topic, own new polls asks,

"Who is your favorite (male hero) permanent guest star?"

Pleasures in Endless Series

The final results of the poll on Thanagarian pleasuring devices:

1. Hawkgirl's Do-It-Yourself Pleasuring Center. Makes sense. The other stuff requires a buff stud in a mask and leather harness, and if you have one of those, who needs anything else?

2. The Ecstacotron. Who said women don't love comics ... and vice versa?

3. The Sexosnare Couples Net. "Okay, tonight we'll pretend that you're a lion and I'm the hunter..."

4. The Seven Smells Rubdown Oil. Because sometimes, it's the simple things, you know?

5. The War Paint Lubricant Atomizer. "Giggle like Hawkgirl, woman; now!"

6. The Flying-Gorilla-Pleasing Absorbascon.
Hey, take it from the Absorbascon, once you go "flying gorilla", you never go back.

7. The Good Old Ball & Chain. Needs no batteries!

8. The Electric Insertifier. Needs batteries. Lots and lots of batteries.

9. The Dinner Party Dumbells. Yea, I guess it can be hard to find two other superhero couples to join you...

10. The Benoit Bow. You men! You're all selfish bastards...

Whatever your pleasures, Thanagarian or otherwise, remember to enjoy the afterglow.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

A Dumbell of Couples or a Couple of Dumbells?

Okay, soon I'm going to end the poll on Thangarian pleasure devices. But before I do, I have to speak out on behalf of the "Dinner Party Dumbells", which haven't received many votes.

Whatever they are, they affected the Hawks pretty darned powerfully (and they aren't exactly delicate people). What's more, they saved Dwyanna and her husband's marriage (whoever they are). And the darned thing's STILL glowing.

So, apparently, is Hawkgirl...!

Swiss Army Knife Man!

Okay, as confirmed here and at several other blogs you know and trust, the Composite Superman is officially the greatest character ever. And we know he could whoop any hero (without time-based powers) on the block and humiliate them horribly in the process.

But let's REALLY geek out here for a moment. Let's stop to appreciate the versatility of the Compster, who has, what is it, some 25+ superpowers. With a bit of super-acting ability he could impersonate almost any member of the Justice League.

Superman? Yes. He has all the powers of the pre-crisis Supergirl, Mon-El, and Ultra-Boy...combined. Superman is his be-yotch, te asseguro.

Batman? Yes. With the stealth of Invisible Kid and the genius of Brainiac 5, no problem. And with a touch of thought-casting, he could inspire fear directly into your brain!

Wonder Woman? Maybe, but it would literally be a stretch. Most of her powers are pretty "standard" except for the Lasso of Truth. CS would have to fake that using a combination of the powers of Chameleon Boy (for its appearance), Sun Boy (the thing does glow), Elastic Lad (it stretches out), and Saturn Girl (mind-reading). With practice, it's doable.

Flash? Yes. He has the combined speed of Ultra-Boy, Mon-El, and Supergirl (she who could move fast enough to break the time barrier). And with Phantom Girl's phasing, he could "vibrate" through things.

Plastic Man? Yes. Elastic Lad + Chameleon Boy + Bottle of Tequila.

Aquaman? Maybe. CS would have no problems superizing underwater. The main thing would be whether Saturn Girl's "super-thought-casting" would give him enough control over sealife.

Green Lantern? No. Try as I might, I can't think how even the Composite Superman could duplicate the whole Talking Power Ring/Hard Light Construct shtick.

The Martian Manhunter? Yes. Phasing, telepathy, flight, superstrength, "martian vision", superbreath, shapechanging; he can do all that in his sleep.

The next time you get asked the standard question, "What comic book character would you be?", show your geekspertise and say the Composite Superman. Like the Captain Action figure, he can be almost any hero you want him to!

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

This week's comics

And now a selection of quotes from the comics I bought this week.

"Run, Wally. Run."
I wasn't going to get this issue of the Flash. Devon of Seven Hells told me, "No, you want to get this; trust me." When Devon, who erreth not, tells you you need to buy something, you do. I did. He was right. I should have seen "it" coming, because of something odd I noticed about the forthcoming DC Heroclix set....

"Would you like me to remove that from the cave?"
Every year, I think Batman's rogue's gallery can't get any better or more interesting; then it does. This year is no different!

"Because we have yet to identify the ass that needs kicking."
That's Wonder Woman, in the OMAC Project. Must say, I did NOT see that ending coming!

"Suggested action: destroy android."

The Manhunters are dead; long live the Manhunters! I can't believe that even Geoff Johns can make Hal Jordan interesting, but it's working. I think GJ lit one of those black candles during Underworld Unleashed...!

"Your mother is a remarkable woman, Cassandra."
As a classicist, I applaud Greg Rucka for his spot on use of Greek mythology, and capturing the sound and feel of classic myth so perfectly. You can tell Rucka's read a lot more than just comic books.

"Nabu has departed with the Blue Beetle on a pilgrimmage to Imhotep's tomb."
I got "Endless Flight", the trade paperback of the restart of Hawkman's title. Only now do I realize how tightly connected everything is. You really deserve to get all three trades of Hawkman's series (the other two are "Allies & Enemies" and "Wings of Fury"). Do, and you'll appreciate the brilliance of what Hawkman's re-creators have accomplished. And you'll be convinced that we haven't seen the last of the Blue Beetle's scarab...!

"Select a design motif or totem to represent your alter ego."
PLEASE treat yourself to a copy of The Batman Handbook: the Ultimate Training Manual. I thought it was going to be just one of those "Worst Case Scenario" handbooks thinly covered with a Batman patina. It's much cooler than that! It's so cool that I expect page 57 to start a nationwide epidemic of children throwing boomerangs at burn victims; you heard it here first.

The Sounds of Silence

Krash! is fairly self-explanatory.

Thud! is the sound of a papoose being hurled unceremoniously on the hard earth. Try it yourself at home and you'll find it's pretty accurate.

Blamm! is the sound of sharp, small explosion, usually of a container. It should not be confuse with Boom!, which is used for larger, uncontained explosions, or Ka-booom!, which is for buildings being blown up.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Fantastic Farces

Some images from the forthcoming Marvel Heroclix set "Fantastic Forces" give me the opportunity to mention Heroclix AND snark on Marvel. Here I go...!

Who's idea was it to have a character based on a grilled cheese sandwich machine?
And this thing, well, I'm uncharacteristically speechless. Whatever that, Krypto will kick its ass before breakfast.
Yes, if I were a superhero this is just the thing I would wear.
And this would be who exactly ... the Inextrudable Turd?
Did Marvel buy the rights to Valdemort?
A touch of paint and Extrano will grace our DC Heroclix board!
OH YEAH; the Aquascooter! Now Aquaman can chase my Mordru-on-Water-Skis custom!
Who stole Wonder Woman's horse?
Exactly when would it be useful to do this when fighting crime?
This gem is from Heroclix's new sculptor, Hieronyomous Bosch.
Oven-Mitt Man No More!

Pleasure with the Hawks!

toys 6
Originally uploaded by Scipio1.

The Absorbascon is a PLEASURING device?
Well, of course, it is!

I've tried to keep this blog G-rated, but I can't keep the secret any more; the Hawks are KINKY people. Wild screaming crazy monkey flying gorilla kind of kinky.

Watch below as the evidence mounts...

Rub Down

toys 3
Originally uploaded by Scipio1.

Still supporting Rann?

Sit back for a moment and consider either:

(A) getting a torso rubdown from Hawkgirl;
(B) giving a torso rubdown to Hawkman;
(C) all of the above.

This is how it usually starts with the Hawks. But note the device of indeterminate function in the foreground...!

Oiling Up

toys 2
Originally uploaded by Scipio1.

This oiling up process (using an appropriately space-aged atomizer) is often part of Thanagarian foreplay.

Hawkgirl laps it up, while working that innocent "tee-hee" routine, as if she were Richie Rich's girlfriend, Gloria.

But she can't hide her true wild screaming animal nature; it reminds her of war paint. Rowwrr!!! Even I want Hawkgirl, the saucy minx!

The Toymakers

toys 7
Originally uploaded by Scipio1.

And toys?

Huh, you think the people who invented home-shopping, Tivo, the internet, etc., didn't apply their fervid little minds to

Oh, they did.

Even Shayera -- who is one tough number -- seems a bit daunted by the tiny Ecstacotron her husband is ready to start the evening with...!

Hawkman's Plan

toys 11
Originally uploaded by Scipio1.

Oh, Hawkgirl's all smiles when Hawkman reaches for the maces and restraints.

But when he starts leering toward some of the other toys in the playroom, even Hawkgirl wonders if she's bitten off more than she can chew!

Sh'yeah, I'm sure that's how it is with Adam and Alanna; as if!

Just In Case

toys 4
Originally uploaded by Scipio1.

Hawkman just loves that old Ball and Chain, doensn't he? And I don't just mean Hawkgirl!

Dang, look at that stuff; that's the kind of equipment you see only in the movies (and I don't mean Spielberg!). Apparently, Hawkman grabs the ball and chain "just in case" the Benoit-bow he's already holding isn't enough for Shayera.

I can't show you more, but just ask yourself what kind of couple's pleasure requires THAT THEY BOTH WEAR CONTACT LENSES?

Yeesh, I need a cool drink!


toys 1
Originally uploaded by Scipio1.

Turnabout is fair play, and the Hawks know all about the "turnabout" game!

While Hawkman beats his drum as a, ahem, "communication" device, Hawkgirl's purchased a new electric Insertifier at the very sight of which, Hawkman shallows his gum!

Who's your daddy NOW, Hawkman?

Couples Night

toys 5
Originally uploaded by Scipio1.

Sometimes the Dibnys and the Palmers come over for one of the Hawks'


"dinner parties".

And the Hawks are very, very ready for them...

Rising to the Occasion

toys 8
Originally uploaded by Scipio1.

Oh, as if they're only going to use their anti-gravity devices to fight crime?


The Hawks make FULL use of their anti-grav technology for their own pleasure, I assure you, and they use it on FULL. Turn it on ... all the way!

I have GOT to get one of those nets...

10 Seconds Later

toys 10
Originally uploaded by Scipio1.

So, what's it like, when you're
wild screaming Hawkfolk and
you've got anti-grav technology and
high-tech pleasuring devices that make Adam Strange faint if he merely looked at them?

Well, all I can say is it looks like this ten seconds afterwards...

Monday, June 27, 2005

Flying Solo

toys 9
Originally uploaded by Scipio1.

Sometimes Hawkman doesn't make it home from JLA meetings till really late.

"No problem!" says Hawkgirl.

"I've got plenty of things to keep me busy until then!"

Still siding with Rann, anyone...?
Make mine Thanagar...all the way!

Nice hat, dear

Nice hat, dear
Originally uploaded by Scipio1.

Here's the next installment in one of our recurring series,

Batman and Robin are NOT Perfectly Ordinary Americans.

Perfectly ordinary Americans do not spend their afternoons wearing bird-hats while strapped to a treestump together.

That Batman ... does he know how to show a kid a good time, or what?


Originally uploaded by Scipio1.

The Absorbascon does not shy away from the tough issues of our time.

Should Robin be introduced in the next Batman film and, if so, who could play him?

Oh, I know what some of you will say. It's stupid and unrealistic to have the Dark Knight saddled with a kid in a red, yellow, and green circus costume.

Hmm...okay, I'll grant you that. But it's also stupid and unrealistic to dress up like a bat and fight crime using rope, smoke bombs, and boomerangs, yet Batman pulls that off pretty well, too.

Do you want a cinematic Robin?
What should he be like?

Sunday, June 26, 2005

When I Was Born

Originally uploaded by Scipio1.

When I was born...

the Blackhawks were still fighting giant Nazi robots.

NO, I'm not THAT old; those giant Nazi robot were built to last!

The Brigadoon Poll

As we've been discussing, too many useful and interesting cities lie in Limbo waiting to return to the DCU proper. As DC is fond of saying lately, they offer us a whole universe; surely it has room to bring back these fictionopolises as part of it!

Granted, I want ALL these cities back. But let's give DC a sense of the popular demand for each. Our new poll is on which of the fictionpolises you want to return to the DCU. Remember, you can vote for as many of them as you want!

Just so's you can review before ya vote:

Brick City
New Venice
Federal City
Midway City
Civic City
Calvin City

At the moment, Federal City is in the lead...

Built Like a Brick City

Return to Brick City!

Wherever it is....

The last in this series on the Forgotten Fictionopolises of the DCU is Brick City, former anti-crime arena for Black Lightning, part of DC's stable of solid secondary heroes, and the one of the few people to turn down membership in the JLA because they were "a bunch of jive turkeys". Indeed!

Brick City is the mysterious El Dorado of the DCU (uh, not the one from the Superfriends, who worked with Black Vulcan not Black Lightning, but that's another story). Thanks to an ambiguous introduction of BC, it's unclear whether it's a city or just a neighborhood. In the real world, it would have to be a nickname for a neighborhood; nobody would name a town "Brick City". For that reason alone, we should assume that in the DCU it's a city; DCU cities are almost always named something like "Simplistic Adjective City". Civic City, Central City, Coast City; Brick City.

Furthermore, it's unclear where in the U.S. Brick City might be and what its realworld analog is. St. Louis sometimes calls itself Brick City, but Black Lightning strikes me as a pretty firm northerner. Lots of people swear Brick City's in Ohio, but that's mostly Clevelanders trying to get themselves noticed. The Rap Dictionary (consult your own copy) lists Brick City as the nickname of Newark. Given that Black Lightning hung out in the east coast cities of Metropolis and Gotham, and that Brick City was portrayed as a wretched wasteland of poverty and crime, Newark as the real world analog of Brick City just plain feels right.

We didn't have much time to get to know Brick City, but its principal exports were despair, gang warfare, and malt liquor. Gotham's problem is it's so good everyone wants a piece of the pie; Hub City's problem is it's hopelessly corrupt; Vanity's problem is it's designed to attract evil; Brick City's problem is it's achingly poor. The simple honesty of that is, frankly, refreshing. Much of crime stems from poverty, the desperation it creates, and the damage it does to familial and societal structures. The other cities in the DCU can be hard to identify with, because, face it, you don't know anywhere quite like Metropolis or Gotham. If you've ever lived in a city with a ghetto, then you DO know a place like Brick City.

DC, bring back Brick City, home of poverty! Fighting Maggedon and Starro is all well and good, but shouldn't we have a place where there's a simple realworld enemy like hopelessness, impoverishment, and addiction? And who, Absorbascommenters should continue Black Lightning's fight there?