Thursday, November 30, 2006

Justice League Detroit vs. Degenerate Art

During this modern renaissance of classic villains, I've been waiting for some brave writer to bring back some of the Justice League Detroit's villains. HA!

Why, if you rolled together Morrison, Simone, Johns, and Palmiotti into one big ball it still wouldn't have the ability to do some of those characters justice. Winick... maybe.

Who could forget the JLD's battle to death against:

The Irridescent Hand Jive?And they were nice enough to do its nails afterwards; those are heroes, people.

The Justice League Detroit was also in the forefront of the war against the Secret Society of Surrealists & Such, including...

Salvador Dali!

Hey; how'd the alien tentacle porn slip in there again?

The Child-Perverting Dr. Seuss!

Wassily Kandinsky's Fettucine Bolognese!

The Parasitic Popularism of Roy Lichtenstein!

And last but not least...

Mock Apple Pac-Man and the Living Mask of Steranko!

And they did all that...

(JLA 257, Dec 86).

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The JLD Advances the First Amendment

It's mostly forgotten nowadays, but the Justice League Detroit broke a lot of ground (most of it with Gypsy's feet). It was the first series ...

  • to show clearly how useless and annoying Sue Dibny was;
  • to show older black janitors getting it in on with magical women of all races, in scenes that probably would have been excised from "Hair";
  • to show that replicating Marvel characterization formulae in the context of the DCU is like putting a pig in a prom dress on the cover of Vogue;
  • to show that Mera knows how to pilot a hovercraft;
  • to show that Puerto Rican people can, in fact, develop superpowers, as long as they are ethnically appropriate.

But it also broke down barriers and tackled taboos that even today's rape-of-the-month series wouldn't dare.

Comics had toyed with the forbidden fruits of sweet sweet octopus love for decades, almost since the beginning of the genre, yet never managed to take the bold step to the next level. But -- and they won't teach you this in Comics History 101 --we have the Justice League Detroit to thank for this great moment in the exercise of the First Amendment...

The Justice League Detroit Brings
Tentacle Porn to American Superhero Comics

Gypsy; Vixen; the Elongated Man; and a multitentacled alien that needs comforting. "What do we do with it?", indeed, Ralph...

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

What Really Killed Dale Gunn

Great heroes and supergroups are known best and defined, I think, by their greatest enemies and their great moments.

Well, there are no greater heroes and supergroups than the Detroit League.

These last two days we've have a taste of that rare and underappreciated vintage, Justice League Detroit, by witnessing Batman and Elongated Man's dalliances with Vixen (who is not a rare and underappreciated vintage). It's inspired me to revisit that most glorious era of the Justice League in this coming week.

Now, I can't promise you the pulse-pounding action of Batman, Superman, & Wonder Woman working on their scrapbook together. But there are the kind of moments that, honestly, you just can't experience outside of Detroit.

And there's no finer example of that then the culmination of their groundbreaking, socially relevant "Hard-Cooking Heroes" saga, its climactic battle...

The Justice League Detroit versus
the Flying Chili Bowl of Death!

See? That's what happens when Vibe's not around to save the day...!

You're not ready for a date with Batman

Even Vixen can barely handle a date with Batman... .

Sunday, November 26, 2006

52 More Questions

  1. Do you, like me, pray daily that Ralph Dibny dies in 52?
  2. Have you noticed that on Heroes, the women generally have the "butch" physical powers and the men have the "passive" mental powers?
  3. Will Supernova remain a part of the DCU after 52?
  4. Will there be an Aquaman movie?
  5. Am I the only person who still believes in the possible innocence of Skeets?
  6. When will the new Atom meet Hawkman?
  7. Am I the only person who doesn't think Montoya deserves to become the Question?
  8. Has there ever been a more stinging condemnation of Wonder Woman than that made by Circe in the most recent issue?
  9. Am I the only person who really wants SuperChief to come back?
  10. It's perfectly safe to assume that Dr. Light is the Evil Mastermind behind all the other villians in JLA, isn't it?
  11. Who will come out first, Connor Hawke or Mario Lopez?
  12. Why do I feel like I'm the only person reading Freedom Fighters?
  13. Does the fact that I burst out laughing when I read that Joe Quesada is Wizard's Man of the Year say more about Wizard, Joe, or me?
  14. If the latest Marvel Heroclix set has four ultra-rare zombified uniques, shouldn't the next DC set have four ultra-rare Starro-controlled figures?
  15. How will Batwoman kiss Montoya when she's wearing the Question mask?
  16. I am the only person who thinks Hercules should now be a permanent addition to Wonder Woman's "dynasty"?
  17. Even when they name him "Sobek", aren't you going to call the Black Adam Family's new crocodile friend "Tawky Crawky"?
  18. If you had to live alone on a deserted island with one character from 52, which one would it be? I'd choose SuperChief; a lonely, lonely Superchief...
  19. Can you name one villain who should be permanently "relocated" into Superman's Rogues Gallery, and why?
  20. Don't you think Dr. Domino will be one of the Four Horsemen?
  21. Is there a more boring book than Checkmate? I'm having trouble sleeping at night... .
  22. If M. Mallah & the Brain adopted, what would they name the child? I'm thinking "Dominique"... .
  23. If Aquagirl were to develop one superpower, what should it be?
  24. Will there be a new Booster Gold, ya think?
  25. Isn't this the first time we've actually seen Sivana's wife?
  26. Don't you think Northwind should be rehumanified and brought back into the fold of the Hawkman dynasty?
  27. I'm the only person hoping the prophecy will be fulfilled by a monster eating Cassandra Cain, aren't I?
  28. If you were to bring back the Joker's Daughter, how would you do it?
  29. Shouldn't the Giant Lex Luthor Balloon be a recurring character?
  30. Do the Wonder Scouts have merit badges for bondage and neck-wringing, and, if so, how are they earned?
  31. Since the most recent Heroclix map is the Space Map, shouldn't the next one be a Water/Ocean map?
  32. Shouldn't Black Canary start dating Dr. Mid-Nite again?
  33. Was I the only person surprised by John Henry's loss of his new powers?
  34. Doesn't anyone else miss Neptune Perkins?
  35. Isn't it about time we stop mooning over "Cowgirl" and start getting our asses kicked by the Sinestro Corps?
  36. What one villain would you revitalize by making him/her a member of the Sinestro Corps?
  37. If DC published an anthology title with new stories written in a Golden Age style, would you buy it?
  38. If DC published an anthology title with new stories written in a Silver Age style, would you buy it?
  39. If DC published an anthology title with new stories written in a Bronze Age style, would you buy it?
  40. Am I the only person who misses Ferdinand and wonders exactly where a minotaur lives if not at the Themysciran Embassy?
  41. I'm the last person on earth to realize how good Birds of Prey is, aren't I?
  42. Superchief, Ferdinand, Northwind; hmm, do I need therapy or just a weekend at one of William Marston's furry festivals?
  43. Since there will eventually be a new Terraman, what should he be like?
  44. Doesn't anyone at DC remember that Congress can't pass Constitutional amendments without them being ratified by the states?
  45. Is it no longer continuity that Luthor was a third-party candidate?
  46. Has anyone else noticed how much less child molestation and bodies-in-the-backyard there are now that Alan Moore's not writing for DC?
  47. Am I the only person who thinks Rex the Wonderdog should be a supporting player in something other than Shadowpact? I think a talking immortal dog would be perfect in either Wonder Woman or Manhunter... or maybe living with Wendy & Marvin in Teen Titans.
  48. Shouldn't Mr. Terrific be a lot cheerier now that he's getting some?
  49. No one really misses the Ventriloquist, do they?
  50. So, is it Chung Tzu or Chung Zhu? I hope they choose the latter and cover it by saying that Westerners were mispronouncing it, because it's really odd and vaguely disrespectful to name a supervillain after an ancient philosopher for no reason... .
  51. Am I the only person who thinks Dr. Mid-Nite should have his own title, with Dr. Scott consulting?
  52. Isn't there ever going to be a second issue of Digging for the Truth? I am dying to see Josh confront the villain.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Speaking of Action 845

Okay, I need some help understanding the latest issue of Action Comics.

I liked it. I really did. I'm no fan of the whole Donner/Krypton/Jor-El schtick, but I'm enjoying the Silverish collocation of elements of the Superman myth: Luthor, Bizarro, the Phantom Zoners, the Planeteers, even a Parasite cameo. And the "twist" (which I didn't see coming but should have) at the end? Very Silver Age.

I like the Kubert/Stewart art, too, particularly the landscapes and vistas.

That said...

One of the things that made the dense mythology of Silver Age Superman possible was a fairly rigid adherence to rules and principles of pseudosuperscience (such as the Garanimal Radiation System; red vs. green kryptonite, red vs. yellow sun, etc.). Nonsensical or not, these were attempts at consistency that allowed a reader to evaluate whether a writer was being "fair".

But I can't figure out the "rules" implied in Action 845. I'm used to thinking in the "solar battery" mode that's held sway since Superman's reboot in 1986. But in the current Action storyline, it seems as if Kryptonians are automatically and immediately "superpowerful" upon showing up on Earth. The boy ("Chris") is immediately indestructible; the Zoners can fly immediately upon their release from the Penitentiary Baguettes; Bizarro has great power even though he's been sitting in the dark for 13 months. I don't get it.

Speaking of pseudoscience I don't get: Superman sets the area around Bizarro aflame and then, using his superbreath .... freezes the flames?! Empedocles, save me!

Speaking of the Pentitentiary Baguettes: why is there one in the opening scene? Is it supposed to be there? Does Superman not notice it? What kind of decorator plops a human-sized sweet potato in the middle of Disney's Fairytale Castles on Ice? Was Krypton doomed for its lack of style? Did the Kryptonian designer Broon-Etz try to warn them?

Speaking of style: I do love the Zoner's outfits. Zod in a hoodie; gotta love that. And with such brand devotion that they have throat tattoos to match their shirts' designer labels! The superfashionistas have arrived.

Zod's tattoo is the best. I don't know what it's supposed to mean, but it's identical to the Sims 2 Pets symbol for "command"; the same command pose he assumes (for no apparent reason other than drama) in the final panel. Kneel!

You know, there was only ONE thing about the "B13" infected City of Tomorrow Metropolis that I really liked: the Daily Planet holographic globe, because we didn't have to see the damn thing get knocked off the building every other issue. Which it does in this issue. Again. What do you think the business insurance rate are in that block?

Speaking of Metropolitan insurance rates... what's with the Frozen in Fear gene that at least 70 percent of all Metropolis residents have-- including Kryptonian Chris, who simply stands there as a bus falls on him? Dude, step back 5 paces and you'll be in the building... I think Luthor must have put something in the water that activates the Frozen in Fear gene in local residents; that why supervillains hang out there, knowing how easy is to endanger bystanders in order to cover their escape.

Speaking of bystanders... how many do you think Superman killed when he shoved Bizarro through the diner? The one with the conspicuous "OPEN" sign? Superman seems really upset Bizarro broke that kid's arm. Pity he wasn't as concerned about the dog he sent flying with the attached fire hydrant, which surely went from poodle to puddle in about 2 seconds. Tip for Superman: fly UP if you want to avoid propery damage (even though property damage is more fun to draw).

Friday, November 24, 2006

Because Dwayne Demanded It!

The Dr. Frederic Wertham Pog

The Dr. Frederic Wertham pog has the "Pulse Wave" Attack power, so that he can do damage to all surrounding characters at once, including his teammates. His Damage power grants him the ability to "Exploit Weakness" in comic book characters he finds unfit.

Like his work, his range of damage is extensive, but his Defense value is low because he's easy to attack.

Special Frederic Wertham Rules

  • Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and Aquaman are immune to Dr. Wertham's "Exploit Weakness".
  • Dr. Wertham's "Injustice League" Team Ability is automatically replaced with "The Society" Team Ability.

The Dr. William Marston Pog

Dr. William Marston's pog does no intentional damage, because he's a lover, not a fighter. But the Master of Bondage can tie you up with his "Incapacitate" Attack power, bringing even the most powerful figures into submission. His high Defense value and "Deflection" power allow him to evade many serious attacks, no matter how deserved they might be, as easily as bullets bouncing off bracelets.

Special William Marston Rules

  • Wonder Woman is immune to Incapacitation when adjacent to Mr. Marston.
  • Dr. Marston himself is immune to Incapacitation.
  • Female opponents are not allowed to use avoidance powers of their own or of their teammates (such as Supersenses, Imperviousness, or Probability Control) to escape his Incapacitating them, because he knows they secretly enjoy submission.
  • Dr. Marston has Willpower.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Pilgrim Boy Gives Thanks!

As a DC fan, I find so many things to be thankful for this Thanksgiving...

I'm thankful DC has decided to recommit to 'the Big Three' with efforts to make Superman and Wonder Woman as important and as popular as Batman.

I'm thankful DC seems equally committed to the depth of their universe, seeking to make "lesser characters" as interesting and popular as its traditional, iconic ones.

I'm thankful that DC is no longer fighting the natural appeal of the "Dynastic Centerpiece" concept, as exemplified by their creating a new Supergirl and Batwoman, and building a team of heroes around Wonder Woman and the likes of Green Arrow.

I'm thankful that my preferred company book publisher has a comparatively strong commitment to putting out its books in a timely manner.

I'm thankful that DC has the wisdom to embrace the diversity of its enormous stable of characters, the imagination to augment them with new characters and to use them in interesting combinations, the talent to revitalize so many "obscure" characters, and the humility to admit some mistakes like the elimination of Hal Jordan & Ollie Queen.

I'm thankful I live in a country where there's more political debate and social commentary in the current issue of "Freedom Fighters" than in the entire combined new media in some other countries.

I'm thankful that DC respects its history, and, rather than abandoning "old" characters like the JSAers and the Freedom Fighters, strives to adapt them for new generations.

I'm thankful that DC continues to use other media to promote their characters, particularly in child-friendly products like the Legion of Super-Heroes cartoon.

I'm thankful for a new direction for Aquaman.

I'm thankful that DC creates characters who happen to be gay (or any other minority you choose) rather than simply characters whose function it is to be gay (or any other minority you choose).

But more than all of these things

all of them COMBINED

I am thankful that I have lived to see


Wednesday, November 22, 2006

William Marston Responds

"Sadism consists in the enjoyment of other people's actual suffering. Since binding and chaining are the one harmless, painless way of subjecting the heroine to menace and making drama of it, I have developed elaborate ways of having Wonder Woman and other characters confined."

"Confinement to WW and the Amazons is just a sporting game, an actual enjoyment of being subdued. This, my dear friend, is the one truly great contribution of my Wonder Woman strip to moral education of the young. The only hope for peace is to teach people who are full of pep and unbound force to enjoy being bound. Women are exciting for this one reason - it is the secret of women's allure - women enjoy submission, being bound. This I bring out in the Paradise Island sequences where the girls beg for chains and enjoy wearing them."

Oh. Well, then.

Since they enjoy it, I guess it's okay.

Space Pogs

As Heroclix fans know, last weekend was the release of the new Marvel set Supernova; we actually had a fabulous "marquee event" for it at Big Monkey DC.

The new set has lots of Marvel's "outer space" characters. I wasn't too sure what to make of some of the characters, like Overripe Bananawoman, Short-Bus Lad, Kellogs Raisin Anne, Captain Colorwheel, Robin the Ironclad Wonder, Aqua-drag, or the Custard Convertible. But the new "space map", with its special rules designed to mimic 3D zero G enviroments, was a definite winner.

But Wizkids doesn't issue enough object tokens to go with each new map. I mean, really, how many gumball machine and hotdog carts can there be floating around in space? So I thought I would help out all you Heroclix players with some new object tokens to use on the space map.

Note that they aren't "heavy" or "light"; zero gravity, you know. So their effect is determined by what you roll when you hit someone with them. If your attack exceeds your opponent's defense by 0,1, or 2, it's a "light" object; more than 2, and it's a "heavy" object.

Dead Rannies; space is full of 'em....

Monday, November 20, 2006


Nobody ever talks about Copperhead. But, then again, why should they?

Copperhead wasn't created to be a headliner. The A list -- people like the Joker, the Penguin, Two-Face, the Riddler, the Catwoman -- were clearly designed from the get-go to be solid repeating, single-handed foes of the Batman. They are the only villains in their initial stories, they go one on one against Batman, in several rounds. They have gangs; they go uncaptured; they know they're coming back.

Copperhead didn't debut in Batman or Detective; he debuted in Brave & the Bold (that's one strike). If you're going to be a serious member of a hero's rogues gallery, you've got to hold out for one of the hero's own titles, no matter what your agent says.

Copperhead was created as plot device, almost a prop (that's two strikes). The focus in Brave & the Bold was always on the heroes who were teaming up; the situation or opponent they faced together became a mere detail. Oh, sure, Copperhead got nice placement on the cover, because he's got a nice visual; but don't let it fool you, the real focus of the story is Wonder Woman and Batgirl.

This is the story in which Batman asks Wonder Woman and Batgirl to pretend they are in love with him and to compete for his affections; this is to confuse Copperhead. Well ... it certainly confused me.

Naturally, the "girls" get caught up in their romancing and actually do fall for Batman, and their rivalry works to Copperhead's advantage. Don't believe me, but H at the Comic Treadmill would never lie. It's comics like this that make me realize how lucky we are to be living NOW, where the stupidest thing we have to put up with is four issues of Batman, Wonder Woman, and Superman sitting at a table, looking at photos, and making fan ficish swipes at one another.

In case you don't click on the link to enjoy H's recap of the story, know at least that Copperhead was created in 1968 by Bob Haney (Strike three!). "Zany Haney" is not known for his creation of viable, interesting villains. Anyone remember the Separated Man?

Copperhead's first appearance set the pattern for his later ones; he never hung out with the real Batman villains mentioned above, even in those stories where they all appeared (such as the "Who Killed the Batman?" saga).

No, the Snakey One became more of a "utility player", an all-purpose villain. You know, the kind you have in a group of villians from different rogues gallery without worrying that he'll overshadow the group, or that fans will complain he's being given short shrift. He's villain filler, evil yeast, criminal padding. He's the kind of guy who goes drinking with Cutlass Charlie or the Golden Dart.

Which. of course, made him a natural for the horribly-written-but-eventually-influential Secret Society of Supervillains series (1976). You remember Copperhead; he's the one who got captured. In the first issue. Almost immediately. Copperhead got to relive this honor when he was part of Luthor's Injustice League on the Justice League Unlimited cartoon; that's why he is the one the League captures.

Copperhead is emblematic of the "Dr. Device" villains, bad guys created to further a plot whose center lies with other characters. Many villains began as Drs. Device, for example, the Mad Hatter and Metallo. Some heroes, too; the Legion's Starboy was originally just a plot device in a scheme of Lana Lang's to make Superboy jealous. Only later do other writers latch on to these throwaway characters and, taking them at face value, start to evolve them into central characters.

But such is the mediocrity of Copperheard, that he's managed to avoid that kind of promotion. Oh, he tried to up his ante (as did many villains) in the Underworld Unleashed crossover (1995). Yet his "upgrade" was just another instance of Copperhead exemplifying villainous mediocrity; he was "zoonified" into a snake-man, rather than a man with a snake-themed gimmick.

Ugh. Zoonification is the same clumsy heavy-handed ploy used to ruin several other Batman villains, including Killer Croc and Killer Moth. It never works; try to feed Spider-Man villains to Batman fans and they just spit them back up at you. Attempts to zoonify high-profile villains like the Penguin (immunity to cold, flippers for hands) and Catwoman (Halle Berry, I like the film, no matter what they say!) were doomed to fan rejection and they people responsible for it have been buried in a shallow unmarked mass grave somewhere in rural Bialya.

The serpentified Copperhead did what all third-rate villians eventually do: joined the Suicide Squad. He survived that, but didn't survive his encounter with the Kate Spencer Manhunter; in fact, killing Copperhead pretty much made her super "rep". That's another purpose to villains of Copperhead's ilk; to be killed by someone else, establishing that character's superiority ("I'm not a third-stringer because I kill third-stringers!").

Even in death, Copperhead is an exemplar for other mediocre villains: he's been replaced by someone better, edgier, and female (she appeared recently in 52). The Mist, Spellbinder, et al.; they've got nothing on Copperhead!

So, I guess Copperhead was good at something after all; he's the perfect mediocre villain....

Friday, November 17, 2006

Sniffing the Results

Longtime readers will, of course, remember my dog:
Oh, wait; wrong picture.

There we go.

Anyway, I was walking the dog the other day, and pondering the fact that he's less interested in other dogs than in the smells (or other things) that they produce. I've seen him examine intently an area of recent bedewment by another dog, while ignoring the dog itself.

How odd, I thought. It's like reading someone's calling card, but not talking to them. I, a sensible human with appropriate priorities, would never do something as silly as that.

Yet, of course, I do that all the time.... with my comic books.

Writers? Writers are mere details, just credits on the splash page; I ignore them all the time, and focus instead on their product, on what they've left behind. And, no, I am not metaphorically calling most comic book stories doggy doo; my dog and I simply have differing interests. And I'm well aware intellectually that writers (oh, and artists, too) are important because they produce the product I enjoy. I'm just saying writers interest me only to the degree I can smell what characters they recently ingested and what literary product came out the other end of the process.

Is that strange?

Then again, on another level, even the stories themselves aren't my point of interest. Not really. Yes, I like to read good stories. But quality of the stories is, in the final analysis, less important to me (and, I think, posterity) than the contribution they make to the myth of the characters within them. So something stupid or unlikely things happened in a story you read; so what? Most of the stories that enamored us of comic books and their characters had/have stupid or unlikely things in them.

I -- and, I think, many people -- are more interested in the result of the story, than in the story itself. Did the characters involved become more interesting? Did their relationships with one another deepen or become richer? Did the universe of which they are part become richer or more interesting as a result of the story? Or perhaps, was a social or moral point made?

I think this may be why I am more satisified by my comic books than some other fans. I am reminded of a recent post in which I praised Paul Dini and his recent work on Batman. The post received many comments criticizing one of his stories as slapdash, lascivious, sloppy; that may very well all be true.

But all I saw was a story that made Poison Ivy more interesting to me, added an ironic twist to her work with plants, and deepened my understanding of the relationship between Batman & Robin. That's the only kind of thing I'm ever going to be able to remember longterm, not whether the ending was rushed or whether the art was too cheesecakish.

Is that strange?

Maybe I'm just as weird as my dog is.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Things That Made Me Happy...

in my comics this week.

  • Robin 156's anti-suicide message. If you want to read snide snarking about how this sort of issue is a stupid PSA you shouldn't waste your money on and why doesn't every book have large boobed asskicking Asian women fighting one another, look for a different blog than this one. I'll remember Robin 156 and Robin's conversation with the Freshmen on the roof long after I've forgotten most other comics I read this month. Once again, Robin has shown that he is the coolest person in the DCU.
  • The sheer girliness of Oracle sending roses to invite people into Birds of Prey is side-splitting. It's just so Yvonne Craigish: "No girl -- not even a girl crimefighter -- can resist a dozen roses, Charlie! I think I'll pop over to look for replies in my P.O. Box via my Oracle-cycle!"
  • Pfeiffer's Freak Film once again proves that nobody makes theme villains like Gotham does.
  • Powerboy. Sigh.
  • Supergirl's moment of lesbian frissonne!
  • OH! I finally figured out what the art in Sword of Atlantis keeps reminding me of: those old Dell novel covers with the '60s advertising-style art:
  • I think at least one comic every month should have a renegade robot shouting "52! 52!"

My special shout out goes to Jesse Leon McCann, about whom I know nothing at all. BUT, Jesse wrote one of the stories in this week's Krypto #3, in which in the Penguin's pet penguin falls out of plane, blunders into the Fortress of Solitude, accidently traps Superman, receives super mental powers, dons a toga, attacks Superdog and Bathound with a giant green "mind gorilla", suspends them over a vat of boiling liquid kryptonite, attacks a town with a giant green "mind dinosaur", and then is defeated ... all in ten pages.

Now THAT is the kind of pacing I want in a comic book. If you want bang for your buck, Jesse Leon McCann is your writer!!!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Let's play the Translation Game!

Without knowing the language or looking up the scene in English...


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Poet Aureate

He's evil.

He's brilliant.

AND he's poetic.

Waverider. The seer
of Hypertime. Keeper of
divergent timelines.

Nice one, Evil Skeets! Anybody can make a haiku, but only a true villain can make them sound really ominous.

The glory of Evil Skeets deserves haiku (as does the imminent destruction of much-despised Living Plot Device and leftover embarrasment, Waverider).

Can you do Skeets justice with haiku of your own?

Monday, November 13, 2006

Is it just me, or...?

I'm sorry, but every time I see "Ollie Queen" on Smallville...

all I see is Allen Lee Haff, the Yard Sale Guy.

Magical Vaginas

When I read this on another site:

"Why are there no magical vaginas or cosmic ray shooting asses. It's always from the hands or eyes."

... I realized that I almost never discuss comic book vaginas.

But let me try to answer the question anyway.

Our brains are highly focused on eyes and hands as its primary means of interacting with the world (this can be seen graphically in the well-known 'body self-perception' diagram, in which the head and hands are vastly out of proportion).

Our hands and eyes are the way we "reach out" to the world, which is why it's psychologically natural for writers to have characters channel their powers through them.

In fact, a case could be made that most characters who give with the zappy COULD do so from any part of their body in theory, but because their powers are "mentally activated" rather than autonomic, they naturally focus their energies through their eyes and hands because it's much easier for them to do so.

And, honestly, aren't you glad? Think of the costuming difficulties that would arise otherwise...

Saturday, November 11, 2006

2 in 2007!

Joy ineffable! Wizkids Games has announced that they putting out not one but TWO sets of DC Heroclix in 2007.

This is a great excitement to those DC fans who play or collect Heroclix. There have been 11 1/4 Marvel sets and only 6 1/2 DC sets, so DC fans are anxious to get "caught up" on getting a wide variety of characters represented as Heroclix figures.

Below is some of what I suspect we might see in these next two sets, based on Wizkids' ways of balancing the sets (heroes and villains, male and female, teams, etc). The bolded ones are confirmed as being in the next set, named "Origins"; ones in red would be remakes of previous Heroclix figures.

  1. Golden Age Batman (with Easily-Knocked-Out-edness)
  2. Golden Age Superman (with Leap/Climb instead of Flight, Invulnerability instead of Imperviousness, and no Heat Vision/ranged attack)
  3. Golden Age Starman (I've decided to personally take all the credit for this one!)
  4. Alan Scott (much asked for)
  5. Wildcat (a good low-point JSA figure, with Charge and Flurry)
  6. Mon-El (now that he's back in comics, he's the muscle LSH teams need)
  7. Guy Gardner (a Green Lantern; much asked for)
  8. The Question (much asked for and a star of 52)
  9. Hawkman (his original REV isn't worthy of the name)
  10. The new Blue Beetle (whether you want him or not)
  11. Animal Man (they made Vixen; they can make Animal Man, whose a fan fave and a star of 52)
  12. Martian Manhunter (he's had a "Unique" figure, but he's got so many powers he simply screams out for a REV)
  13. Aqualad or Tempest (Titans, Mystique, Aquafamily)
  14. Kid Devil (a fresh Titans character)
  15. Classic Aquaman (yeah, he's already had two versions, but people won't be happy until they get a Green Gloves version; maybe it'll just be a Unique?)
  16. Starboy (one of the few black Legionnaires)
  17. Mister Miracle (the required Fourth World addition)
  18. Jakeem Thunder (not a fan fave, but he brings "young and black" to the JSA table)
  19. The Human Bomb (shiny black destructiveness)
  20. Captain Comet (a representative of DC's outer space gang)
  21. Supernova (give his central role in 52, I think he'll be in Set 2)
  22. A new Firestorm (nothing is wrong with the old one as a figure, but the new one, Jason, should get at least a Unique)
  23. Steel (Dr. Iron's new powers and his role in 52 merit an update)
  24. Robotman (for the slow building of the Doom Patrol)
  25. Phantom Stranger (for the "Oddball Box", where live Sgt. Rock, Jonah Hex, and Swamp Thing)
  26. One of the Metal Men (hey; you didn't think they'd make Chemo, either, did you?)
  27. Dr. Light (although not used much, a lot of people are fond of her and she's JLA)
  28. Supergirl (crying out for a remake)
  29. Triplicate Girl (if they did Madrox, they can now do Triplicate Girl)
  30. Miss Martian (works with Teen Titans and the inevitable Martian Manhunter REV)
  31. Gypsy (back in action in Birds of Prey, so a very natural choice)
  32. Batwoman (another 52 character who should show up in Set 2)
  33. Aquagirl (it might not seem like she'd make it now, but she'd be good to fill a low-point REV slot and could add to the figs with Titans TA)
  34. Phantom Lady (they have to start making the Freedom Fighters, and she would be a fan favorite)
  35. Golden Age Wonder Woman (what's good for the goose...)
  36. Isis (another fun 52 character for Set 2)
  37. Phantom Girl (a classic female Legionnaire and a star of the new cartoon)
  38. Wonder Girl (needed for both Wonder Woman teams and Teen Titans)
  39. Thunder (for the Outsiders TA, and a "sidekick" for Black Lightning)
  40. Nightshade (a little Shadowpact action!)
  41. Crimson Fox (a low-point slashing leapclimber with JLA TA)
  42. Bulleteer (how can they resist it?)
  43. Some new Checkmate Agents
  44. The Penguin (Wizkids now has a better handle of the more "intellectual" villains and this classic Batman villain is currently never played because his clix is nearly worthless)
  45. The Riddler (see Penguin, above)
  46. Killer Moth (definitely not in Set 1, but in Set 2, so that the Batman Enemies can have another flyer)
  47. The Gentleman Ghost (the first Hawkman villain represented; also, the Rookie can be a Batman Enemy)
  48. Lobo (sigh; as featured in 52)
  49. Catman (surely the Secret Six will see some representation, and the Rookie can be a Batman Enemy)
  50. Ragdoll (a low point Unique?)
  51. Mirror Master (no, I don't know how either, but the Flash villians need him)
  52. Johnny Quick (Crime Syndicate; only he and Power Ring are left)
  53. Silver Age Brainiac (like Aquaman, two other versions have been done, but this is the one everyone's been waiting for)
  54. Pied Piper (a Flash villian with Mind Control and Pulse Wave would be fun!)
  55. Ocean Master (Black Manta is really lonely)
  56. Vandal Savage (another Lex Luthor style "mastermind" Unique that one will know how to use)
  57. The Shark (perfect opportunity to make a villian to fight both GL and Aquaman, with a nearly unique combo of Psychic Blast and Fangs!)
  58. Star Sapphire (GL villains are poorly represented and she's one of the best known female villains in any Rogues Gallery)
  59. Catwoman (her original clix are sitting ducks)
  60. Knockout (both Secret Six and Fourth World)
  61. Live Wire (the Superman villain who's found her way from the cartoons to the comics)
  62. Silver Banshee (she'd make a great looking Unique, adds to the Superman villains, and can tag-team with Gentleman Ghost)
  63. Scandal Savage (another low-point slicey dicey figure)
  64. Cassie Cain (didn't like her first dial, when she was a hero? Her newfound villainhood is a second chance to make her a challenging foe for Robin!)
  65. Granny Goodness (sigh; a Fourth World female)
  66. Dr. Poison (probably a Unique in Set 2; Mars needs women!)
  67. Tigress (a good low-point all-purpose villainess)
  68. Madame Rouge (to go with Mallah & The Brain)

Friday, November 10, 2006

Wonder Goodies

Your Comments are Wanted...

Frank Miller & Alan Moore ... were they just big fish in a little pond?

If you could write an essay about Wonder Woman, what would you say?

Marston Worships at the Altar of the Holy Electric Woman's Leg
and You Should Too
Oh, your feet are killing me, too, dearie...

Some Heroclix Pogs for Your Wonder Woman Games

There are so many deliciously evil pogs I wanted to make for this: "the Hitler Cure", "the Sissy Spanker", "Fido the Dog Girl", "Ruth Smith", "Man Made Manacles", etc. But I've kept this little set on the up and up instead. And while you are enjoying Steve Trevor, the Magic Lasso, and Etta Candy, don't forget Brenda the Majorette!

Special Steve Trevor Rules
  • Wonder Woman has Defend with regard to Steve Trevor.
  • Steve Trevor has the Police Ability.
  • Any opposing figure may attempt to Incapacitate Steve.
  • Steve has Willpower.
  • Steve Trevor costs you zero points if you are wearing a headband.
  • To maximize enjoyment, make a stupid exclamation everytime Steve takes or receives an action.

Special Magic Lasso Rules

  • The Magic Lasso must be placed with Wonder Woman at the start of the game.
  • She carries it with her, and that does not affect her ability to carry regular objects or other figures.
  • The Magic Lasso allows Wonder Woman to use Incapacitate with a range of 5 against one opposing figure at a time.
  • Figures incapacitated by the Magic Lasso can take no action of any kind.
  • Incapacitation by the Magic Lasso lasts until Wonder Woman moves, attacks, or receives damage.
  • Wonder Woman may not use the Magic Lasso while she is carrying another figure or object.
  • Wonder Woman may, as a free action, give the Magic Lasso to or receive it from any adjacent friendly figure.
  • Other figures using the Magic Lasso can only use it in Close Combat.
  • No player may use the Magic Lasso who is handcuffed, manacled, or chained.

The Special Etta Candy Rules

  • Wonder Woman has Defend with regard to Etta.
  • Etta Candy has both Toughness and Willpower.
  • Etta Candy cannot be carried by any flyer who does not have superstrength.
  • To maximum enjoyment, require that any player who uses Etta must eat a piece of chocolate every time she uses either Toughness or Willpower.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Things That Made Me Happy...

in my comics this week.

  • "I, Vampire", Genius Jones, ghost pirate ships, Nazi gorillas, and Anthro encased in ice ... all in the same story.
  • Some CSI detectives finally noticed something odd about how one of the Spectre's victims died.
  • the Pre-Socractics portrayed as a sort of Secret Society of Super Philosophers.
  • Alexander the Great demonstrating the Aristotelean causes by giving someone a hotfoot.
  • Evil Skeets' explanation of what he is actually constructed out of; yeesh, that's creepy!
  • the fact that Metropolis still looks really beautiful with its spine snapped in half.
  • thank you, Mad Monk; now THAT is a deathtrap!
  • The Question's archenemy turns out to be... himself.
  • I really like Miss Martian (about 10,000 times more than that other special guest star).
  • At last, Batwoman will return next week!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

And the hits keep coming!

You know, I've been picking on Marston's pretty severely this week, and that's not fair. So what if he was a demented perv who passed off his plethora of fetishes on a generation of innocent children, while conning the public so that he got not only money but acclaim for doing so, when, in any decent society, he'd be sent to live in solitary on a desert island?

He gets points for creating Etta Candy. Besides, he's about to become my best friend...

Yes, bloggers care only for hits and comments, our common currency. And today Marston is going to bring me more hits than I usually get in three months. Why? Because I've finally figured out how people actually use the internet....

"sorority girls spanking blindfolded blonde nazi woman"It was a very long time before I noticed the group bedroom.

"bound all female roleplaying hynoptism exhibitionist submission"
Honey? Can I be 'Ruth Smith' this time?

"dominatrix whip chained slave girls discipline"Ha, Wonder Woman and her Golden Age sarcasm! Er... at least... I think that's sarcasm... .

"cops bound straps straightjacket woman harsh lighting"How much you think the guy watching pays for that sort of thing?

"women bound baked pie"
I'll, uh... I'll skip dessert, thanks.

"hooded women spanking paddled kneeling blonde girl bonbons"
It's the photo on the wall that really makes this one.

"convict naked bare legged glasses female prisoner lesbian guard"
"You'll look pretty behind bars" is my new favorite pick up line.

"fat girl pretty woman kissing hugging woo woo"Hold you closer? If I were any closer I'd be behind you!

"rope bound gagged boxed C.O.D."

I hope they remember to put in some grass and punch a few holes in the lid.

"men women co-ed chained slaves pulling chariot whipped man in skirt"
Welcome to Dr. Seuss's Planet of Pain and Pleasure;
Grab a chain and enjoy your leisure!

Remember what Wonder Woman says, folks:

"Don't hate the game; hate the player!"