Saturday, January 21, 2006

The Arrow Awards

Thanks to the Showcase series, I think I'm starting to "get" Green Arrow: Green Arrow is the most brilliant Batman parody ever created.

At least, it reads much more easily if you take that perspective. Everything that was ridiculous in Silver Age Batman? It's there in Green Arrow, only ten times worse. Ridiculous gimmick gangs (I liked the Balloon Bandits best), giant extradimensional aliens, the flaming green arrow signal (sounds safe, huh?), alterethnic knockoffs of our hero, the jealousy scenarios with the sidekick, the time travel -- and the arrows just make it that much worse. Green Arrow makes Batfink look like homage.

For the next week (and one week only!), we'll being running a very important poll to determine The Most Ridiculous Arrow Award (the polling mechanism is in the sidebar). The following are not eligible: arrows used by clowns (like Green Error and Funny Arrow), intentionally ridiculous arrows invented by children, any arrow used by Miss Arrowette (all of which are not only ridiculous but ridiculously sexist).

And the nominees are...!

Our Ink Arrows.

A Fountain-Pen Arrow. So, do you stick those in Our Ink Arrows, or what?

Tumbelweed Arrows! How do those fit into a quiver?

My Paint-Brush Arrow. What color is it?!?!?! Damn those Showcase Editions!

The Antler Arrow. I have to confess, as the son of a hunting guide, the Antler Arrow is my favorite. Dale Totaltoyz is making me several. Can't wait to spook the dog with them.This Chimney-Sweep Arrow. Ollie and Roy have way too much time on their hands.

The Mummy Arrow. Yes, that's what they call it.
The Plastic Cat Arrow (with Meow Arrow).
Smart money's on the Plastic Cat Arrow (with Meow Arrow). Another one I can't wait to try on the dog.

Not even Batman can resist ... VIBE!

Friday, January 20, 2006

The Peyman Theory

Is Nightwing the new Batman ... of Earth-2?

This is what the folks at Big Monkey are calling the "Peyman Theory" after the customer who devised it. It may be all over the internet elsewhere, but I haven't heard it until today.

Assume, for the moment, that Earth-2 will remain, perhaps as the basis for a new Earth-2 based imprint.

Plots have been arranged to loosen Dick's ties to Earth-1. He has been separated from his two groups, the Outsiders and the Titans, and Bludhaven, "his" city, is gone.

Narrative pains have been taken to show that Dick would fit in on Earth-2. Infinite Crisis has highlighted the facts that Earth-2 has no Batman, that Nightwing is trusted by everyone, and that Nightwing is as good a man as anyone on Earth-2.

There are also metatextual clues. For example, interviews have emphasized that Nightwing has a very important but unspecified role in the Crisis and its aftermath.

The truth could be something simpler, like Bruce taking some time off and Dick taking his place, with no Earth-2 about it.

But the Peyman Theory still intrigues me.

Hot Steamy Rice

Yes, Todd. Yes, I will happily make it up to you later. Yes, I will walk you to the elevators. Yes, Todd. Whatever you say, Todd. Yes, yes, yes.

Well, as mentioned here, Todd Rice (better known as the world-destroying wacko Obsidian) is finally coming out and has a new boyfriend. No, really. It's in Manhunter, which everyone knows is really good, but no one reads.

Devon's been trying to get me to add Manhunter to my subscription for months. Devon's very persuasive and there's no one whose comic book opinions I respect more. But you know, Devon doesn't have grey eyes and a strong Roman nose and manly but unthreatening sideburns and JBF hair y los labios del deseo. Todd does.

What's that, Todd? You want me to subscribe to Manhunter? Yes, Todd. Yes, I will subscribe to Manhunter.

In an interview, author Marc Andrecheyko made the point strongly that in having Todd Rice come out he is not trying to make any point strongly. There are people who are gay. Todd is one of them. End of subject.

He has not been made gay so he could get bashed, or get HIV, or adopt a baby, or have conflict with a colleague, or become some teenage heroine's unrequited crush. Score one for DC! Personal matters like the fact that Alan Scott is left-handed, or that Hawkman has brown eyes, or that Obsidian is gay makes them different from most heroes but it doesn't have to become a huge plot point, for pity's sake.

Todd has always been portrayed a whiny, self-pitying, underconfident nebbish. And that, frankly was on his good days. As JSA readers know, on Todd's bad days he hung with Mordru and Eclipso and nearly destroyed the world.

Oh, but look at that face. That's not the same guy at all!
NOW I understand....

Todd's problems were because his dad's from Earth-2 (his mom, too, I think). Once Alexander Luthor fixes everything, we get this new, improved Earth-New Todd Rice. Who's not evil. Who's well adjusted.
Who's utterly dreamy and superpowerful in the dark. Thank you, Alexander Luthor; god bless you.

Remember, from now on, if there's anything you don't like about a character, just blame on the mix-up on multiple earths. Mad about Jesse Quick's behavior or Courtney's midriff? Those aren't the
REAL ones, the ones from Earth-New. Incensed that Vibe or Ice is dead? It's okay, those were just the Earth-1 versions, and ones from Earth-2 or Earth-New will be along any day now. Still think Batman's an ass, even though he now realizes he's an ass who needs Dick badly? Don't worry, the Earth-New Batman will be scary and nice all at the same time.

Infinite Crisis, you see, is our personal lord and savior. It's all about making Todd gay. And bringing back Vibe. And creating a Batman who is all things to all people. And making everything just the way that I personally want comics to be. Oh, and you, too!

What's that, Todd? May you envelope me in your shadow form and explore my inner horrors? Yes, Todd. Yes, yes, yes.

Ollie and Paco

Excuse me, I ... need to go write some fan fic now.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Are you confused?

Quick! Which one is the planet and which one is the monkey?*

If you got that right then you must be smarter than comic book buyers in the Washington DC metropolitan area -- or, at least, smarter than SOME PEOPLE think those comic book buyers are.

My comic book store and Devon's got a letter from the attorney from some place called "Big Planet Comics", which says,

"It has come to our attention that you are using the unregistered trade name of 'Big Monkey Comics' as a name for your business. We believe that your use of the name has caused, and will cause, confusion among comic book consumers and will dilute the registered servicemark and good will held by Mr. Pollack [editor's note: he owns Big Planet, ya see..] and the various Big Planet Comic stores. This is especially true given the design of your logo, which seeks to emulate the overall feel and impression of the 'Big Planet Comics' registered mark. Please cease and desist all use of the name and contact me at your earliest convenience to discuss this issue and what steps must be taken to resolve it permanently."

To which I can only say what any comic book reader would: Gosh!

Actually, our tradename is registered, but I think that's beside the point. Personally, I think most comic book consumers know the difference between a monkey and planet. You almost have to in order to read comics. Clark Kent, for example, does not work at the Daily Monkey, nor does he come from the doomed exploding monkey of Krypton. Similarly, Mogo and Ego are not monkeys, but Beppo and Koko are.

For my part, I just want to assure the public that there is nothing that could interest me LESS than emulating the overall feel and impression of "Big Planet Comics". Please do not confuse it with Big Monkey Comics.

As for diluting good will.... Well. I think Mr. Pollack seems to have that covered already.

* Planet on left; monkey on right.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Can Wonder Woman Dance?

Can Wonder Woman dance?

As long as it's a march, yes.

Tony Basil's Hey Mickey.

Deborah Cox's Absolutely Not.

The Superfriends Theme.

Dolly Parton's 9 to 5.

Stevie V's Dirty Cash.

YMCA (or anything by the Village People, really).

Her own darned theme song, all five versions.

This is the music of Wonder Woman.

At least twice at week, she spends an hour marching. Alone, behind the locked door of her Marching Room. Good for the legs, she thinks. And the shoulders. Keeps you disciplined, too, and your head clear. Everyone should march. Everyone should do the things I do. The world would be much better if they did.

You know it's bad when they send Green Arrow to tell you you're embarassing the League.
"Diana, c'mon; I've got the Arrowcar right over there. Let's go now, okay?"

"Happens" upon parades, she does. As many as possible.

Hi, I was just flying by after returning from a JLA meeting and noticed your Founder's Day parade.

What? You want
me to march in it? Why, yes! Yes, I'd be honored! No, no thank you; I brought my own cape. Oh, and don't worry; let me break the news to Supergirl; it'll be ... easier coming from me. Strike up the band!

Back on Paradise Island, the whole marching thing used to drive her mother nuts.

The Suffering Sappho Celebration. The Diana's Day Festivities. Bea Arthur's Birthday. No matter what the holiday or occasion, Diana wheedled her way into the parade so she could march, march, march.

The Themiscyran tabloids would make fun of Diana, calling her "Princess Parade About", "Her Royal Clydesdale", and "Little Miss Marchy Boots". The Royal Family was being humiliated.

Finally, Hippolyta got fed up. Made up the whole "Wonder Woman" nonsense, complete with majorette costume, just to get rid of her. Couple of decades of marching in Man's World'll settle her hash. It worked on Antonia (or "Susan B. Anthony", as we called her).

Once she got here, she used to make up phony causes and protests just so she'd have an excuse to march.

She stopped that once she met her friend Brenda the Majorette (who'd marched so often in front of bands she'd suffered some hearing loss, which Diana eventually repaired for her with the Purple Healing Ray).

Majorette Brenda helped Diana understand the holiday cycle of our society and explained that she could march in any gay pride parade she wanted and people would applaud. Put her picture in the paper. Toss confetti and beads to her.

Since then, Wonder Woman's been a happy gal, indeed.

She's made a lot of other gals happy that way, too!

Selfless Haiku

"So it's clear the best
Course of action is simply
To let you kill me."

Ah, Nabu (you know --- the guy in the Dr. Fate helmet). He's had his less than shining moments, but when he tricked the Spectre into killing him, sacrificing himself to save others, he had the class to go out with a haiku.

I didn't notice it when I read the Day of Vengeance special, but sharp eyed Absorbacommenter Joe Hennes did. Thanks, Joe!

So what haiku can you compose to celebrate the selflessness of Dr. Fate, the re-incarnation of the Spectre, or the astuteness of Joe Hennes himself?

Monday, January 16, 2006


Okay, now this post is chockful of spoilers for JLA 242, so those of you who haven't had the chance to get to the comic book store since September 1985, you have been warned.

In this issue, Gypsy is eaten by a bear.Ha, ha! I got ya! Gypsy, who walks without shoes or socks through the ghettoes of Detroit, scares the creature away by showing it her feet. Barefoot, 1: Bear claw, zero.

Meanwhile, in another part of the woods, a sexually frustrated Zatanna's booty still burns brightly for Dale Gunn.

"How dare you cast me aside for that bead-braided trollop, Dale Gunn!" she smoulders. "See me burn with passion in the Naughty Schoolmarm outfit I wore in the underground film Headmistress of Hotath."

Hotath's Rings:ribbed for your pleasure. Should have pulled those out sooner, Zee. Dale Gunn might not have left you.

Just kidding! Actually, I don't know what Hotath's Rings are. Just part of the whole "Marvelization" of Zatanna, where she spouts silly Dr. Strange-isms, throws herself at colleagues, and blathers on about her Homo Magi genes as the source of her abilities. Oh, Zee, somebody named Wanda's on the phone, asking you to return her schtick.

Okay, now I'm spoiling the ending of JLA 242! HERE IT IS:

Yes, it's three panels of Vixen, sitting in the dark (you can tell that's Vixen, right?). There are actually four panels like this, but I figured you'd get the idea. Oh, and for you sharp eyed artist types ... you're right! I did, in fact, accidently rotate those panels the wrong way, so they are upside down. Sorry.

Well, as dramatic as that finale is, I was more impressed by other developments in the storyline. Ya see, in this issue, Vixen and Vibe perfect their soon to be patented battlecries.

"Brother Roadrunner, lend me your sound effects!" Vixen prays. Kheeww? No one knows quite what Vibe is trying to say, but that's generally the case, battlecry or not.

In other heartstopping action, Aquaman finds a comb and the Martian Manhunter (never the most stable person) starts to think he's an Injun Brave in one of those old Tom Mix movies he used to watch alone in his Colorado apartment every night in the 1950s.

J'onn! J'onn, come back us to now. We'll ... we'll give you another series. Yeah. No, no, the guys at editorial are serious this time. There ya go, big fella!

But I think the most memorable part, the scene that I'll treasure for the remainder of my days is this one, a little feature called Steel versus Amazo.

Why the HELL is this series not in trade paperback yet? Entire generations are being deprived!

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Vanilla Wafers lose out to Brown Sugar Cookies

Meanwhile, back at "The Real World: Detroit"...


He Had It Coming

Meanwhile, in the woods of Central Pennsylvania...

"Say, where's Jordan? If he doesn't get here soon, all the deer will have--"

"Sorry I'm late, Air Force friends. I had just roused myself from the bed of exhausted yet radiant Carol Ferris, when there was an uprising on Kalanor and my colleague in the adjacent space sector needed help from me, Hal Jordan."

"So, uh, you're gonna wear that while we're hunting?"

"Thompson, if I could track down Sinestro in this uniform, then I don't suppose a few deer are going to give me a problem."

"Yeah, well, does Sinestro have horns?"

"No, though they wouldn't look out of place on the sinister countenance of my Satan-faced foe."

" ... Right. Okay. Well, hang back so the deer don't see you. Like, about a mile. And stop standing around with your legs spread; it's ... it's weird."

"Sorry, Thompson; no can do. I'll be fearlessly in the forefront of battle, as always, standing in this heroic stance. Or flying, which I also do with my legs spread."

"Yeah, I've heard that about you, Jordan, but I didn't believe it."

"You'd better believe it, mister. Hold on, my ring is talking to me... "


"What the hell are you doing, Jordan!?"

"Buck, six-pointer, 500 meters. It won't trouble anyone now."

"You incinerated it, you jackass!"

"Look, Thompson, if you can't stand the heat of battle then step back and let a professional handle this, because I don't have time to hand hold you now!"

Thompson, you'll be happy to know, was acquitted at the Court Martial.