Saturday, July 01, 2006

Reasons to read "Manhunter" #6

Manhunter has some of the sharpest and most efficient characterization in comics today.

Whether it's a series regular, minor characters, or a guest star, writer Marc Andreyko effortlessly and naturally allows the situation to show us what people are like. They're not one-note characters; they are complex and capable of the range of human emotions, while still having consistent personalities.

Finally, someone who can write the Justice Leaguers as well as they were written on JLU.

On the page before this one in Issue 6, both Batman and Superman make a joke. Can you imagine?

Buy Manhunter.

Friday, June 30, 2006

JLDetroit: A Sure Bet for Entertainment!

It's been like Old Home Week here at the Absorbascon thanks to the "A Game of Chance" storyline running in JLA Classified, starring the remarkable...

Justice League of Detroit!

Despite repeated photo sessions, this is the best their PR guy could come up. Nice pillow, J'onn.


Aquaman, doing what he does best.

Perpetual piscatorial understudy Walter the Walleye finally got his big break in show biz...when Peter the Pufferfish was unavailable for this story.

Sue Dibny, doing what she does best.

Specifically, flirting with superheroes while her husband's not around.Don't lie to yourself; you don't really miss her either.

Vixen, doing what she does best.

"I feel ... the animal urges... building inside me!"
"No ... dance poles ... in woods! Must-- use tree!"

Gypsy and Steel, doing what they do best.

You say you're sorry? I guess that's as good a way of putting it as any.

Vibe, whom I can't show doing what he does best because this is a family blog, so you'll just have to infer it.

Vibe's got a "ten-strike" that can handle any queen or even another "10".
Just thinking about it makes me feel faint.

and featuring...

J'onn "No, we're not ending our camping trip early simply because we were attacked by supervillains and just killed two people; why do you ask?" J'onnz!

Ah, the "Heart of the League" isn't exactly a warm one, is it?
How bad is it when your behavior appalls Vixen and Vibe?

and Dale Gunn, The Irresistible Man!

"If Zatanna and Vixen couldn't resist me, boy...""...what chance do you think you have?"

Reasons to read "Manhunter" #5

Manhunter has Damon.

Damon is Kate Spencer's associate at her real job as a prosecutor. He's handsome and witty. But more importantly, he has stones of steel.

In Issue 5, the JLA drop in for a visit. While Kate (who eats villains for breakfast) is dropping her latte, Damon is already hitting on Hawkman.

Hitting. On. Hawkman. That is enormously impressive.

Buy Manhunter.

P.S. Of course John Stewart knows how much lattes cost.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Reasons to read "Manhunter" #4

As of Issue #4, Manhunter has Dylan Battles.

Dylan is Manhunter's tech-guy. He fixes her weapons and makes her new ones.

Not because he's a selfless supporter of her cause. Rather, it's because she blackmailed him into it. Besides, he misses the excitement of his old job, working with villains. Like Two-Face, Queen Bee, Kobra, Killer Frost, and Black Manta.

Dylan knows what Aquaman does.

Dylan is ... well, an interesting character. I'm not sure I like him, but he always makes me smile. And I like comics with characters that make him smile.

Buy Manhunter.

Things That Made Me Happy...

in this week's comics.
  • Batman & Robin fighting gorillas.
  • Phantom Lady's first name.
  • J'onn's little conversation with ... "himself".
  • Clark's typewriter.
  • The Creeper kicking butt.
  • Dr. Virus and Kryptococcus the Omni-Germ.
  • Luthor's manipulation of underage girls.
  • Tim's hug and the reason for it.
  • My being right about Steel.
  • The New Odd Couple: Crispus Allen and the Spectre.
  • The return of the Great White.
  • Two-Face; back and better than ever.
  • The growing grooviness of Film Freak.
  • The president's dog.
  • The Fortress of Solitude versus a soft pretzel.
  • Vibe, once again glorious in action yet still ineffective.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Monkey Mailing

I noticed yesterday that, while there are over 1400 people who visit this blog daily, there are only 100 people who are signed up for the Big Monkey Comics "What's Shipping" Service.

It's a free, non-invasive service that sends you an e-mail each week of what's shipping from the various companies. Naturally, this info is already available on-line for those who want to look for it.

But judging from the number of calls that comic book stores get asking questions like, "Did Vibe: Sword of Detroit come out this week?", the Big Monkey thought people might appreciate just getting an e-mail that lets them know what's new on the stands. So we made something that does that; that's how much the Monkey loves you.

The e-mail you'll get looks something like this:

Ooo. Pretty.

Anyway, as I said, it's free and we won't sell your e-mail address to the Scientologists or the Viagra Manufacturers Association. To sign up for the service, just go to the Big Monkey website and put your e-mail address in this box:

Then you'll no longer be in the dark at Recess when all the cool kids are talking about what comics are coming out that week.

An Antidote to "Superman Returns" mania

I did see and positively review "Superman Returns", but still I feel the need to list

Ten Reasons Batman has More Fans than Superman

1. Reading Batman doesn't require you to learn a foreign language.

2. Almost anyone can look okay in Batman suit; almost no one looks good in a Superman suit.

3. Batman is not to blame for the Composite Superman; Superman is.

4. Batman doesn't get kinky with his villains (that's what youthful wards are for).

5. Batman has a different woman every issue, or at least, every writer. Superman has Lois, who likes to dress up like Batwoman, and we all know what that means.

6. You can convince regular people that Batman is realistic.

7. People actually like Batman's sidekick.

8. Batman has enough eye-popping villains to populate a small town; Superman's only real villain is a generic bald smart guy.

9. Mild-mannered schlub, who gets pushed around by his boss at a newspaper, and spends more time fussing over personal situations with his friends and colleagues than actually fighting the fourth-rate villains who come to town; yeah, Superman is way too much like Spider-Man.

10. Alfred is cooler than everyone in Metropolis put together.

Reasons to read "Manhunter" #3

Manhunter addresses the difficulties of balancing personal life with professional life -- and a hobby as a vigilante.

You may have heard through the grapevine the Kate "Manhunter" Spencer isn't a very good mother.

In Manhunter #3, when her son finds one of her tech-weapons and almost kills himself with it, she gives up full custody of him to her ex-husband because it's best for the child.

That's the kind of thing good mothers do.

Buy Manhunter.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Savor the Understatement

Comics are a medium given to bombast and hyperbole. Particularly at certain

But let us be subtler. Let us revel, not in the gross pleasures of exaggeration, but in the delicate witticism of the Art of Comic Book Understatement, as practiced by DC.

Let others drown their tastes and senses in the cheap beer of overstatement only to collapse groggily in the mung of regurgitated declarations of "awesomeness"; we will look on -- or, indeed, away -- and savor the mellow of our dry literary Chardonnays.

Often such Understatement is most delicious in older vintages; why, here's a Silver Age one I just plucked off the shelf:

Kryptonite meteors often fall from space.

Ah. Now that's a delicious Understatement. Yes, Mr. Mustachio, I think it's definitely fair to say that in the Silver Age Kryptonite meteors fall from space at a rate one could appropriately term "often".

Like, hourly.

Reasons to read "Manhunter" #2

In ways that I have seldom seen in other titles, Manhunter addresses the uncomfortable questions of "super-vigilanteism" versus standard justice.

By day, as a prosecutor she works to deprive criminals of the freedom and possibly their lives.
By night, as a vigilante she works to deprive criminals of their freedom and possibly their lives.

But she knows that there's a difference and it bothers her greatly; good for her. She really needs to meet Two-Face some day.

Buy Manhunter.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Sweet Fifteen

Oh, my; Showcase Present: Superman is out, and a denser dose of Silver Age lunacy has never been compiled. Don't read it before going to see Superman Returns, or you'll spend the whole movie distracted by thoughts like, "I bet Lois's child is actually Mxyzptlk in disguise, helping her to make Superman jealous!"

One of my favorite selections so far is the "Mighty Maid" story, in which Lois cries a lot because a superwoman has appeared who's wooing the Man of Steel away from her. Reality check, Lois; has Superman ever done anything to make you think you had a chance with him, superwoman or no?

Here's Superman and Mighty Maid sucking face:

Ah, another couple succumbs the overwhelming romantic allure of Milwaukee.

Oh, here they are later playing tonsil-hockey and planning their honeymoon in front of Gal Reporter Who Cries In Silence:

Naturally, since this is the Silver Age, it's all just an elaborate hoax to fend off an alien invasion; don't ask.

But who is playing the part of Mighty Maid? Is it...

(A) A female Superman robot?
(B) Wonder Woman, doing Supes a favor?
(C) Lana Lang, using her Insect Queen abilities to simulate superpowers?
(D) A Kandorienne, temporarily enlarged to normal size through a rare space element?

Oh, come now. Surely, you've already figured this one out...

It is, of course...

(E) Supergirl, Superman's fifteen year old cousin.

"Fine dramatic ability"... shudder.
Nowadays, people like Superman are required to register their address with local authorities,
so neighborhood parents can be warned.

As I've said before, Superman is creepy with a capital CREE.

Reasons to read "Manhunter" #1

Kate "Manhunter" Spencer is crazy-bold vigilante.

In Issue #1, to stop Copperhead from escaping custody, government prosecutor Kate steals some confiscated tech from the evidence room at her work, tracks him down a sewer, mouths off to him when he threatens to eat her, then blows his head off.

In self-defense, of course.

Now, that's the kind of over-the-top, non-decompressed, "no real person on earth would do that" kind of craziness that's straight out of the Golden Age -- the pulps even. And I like it.

Buy Manhunter.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

As eggspected


With special thanks to David Oakes!


I just discovered a comparatively new and quite funny blog, Random Happenstance. Anything that makes me laugh out loud (other than speeches by the President) is A-okay in my book.

And thanks to this blog I will never call Shondra Kinsolving anything other than "Dr. Love Interest". In fact, I'm considering changing my name by deed-poll to "Dr. Love Interest". "Yes, I am Dr. Interest; but you may call me... LOVE."

Anyway, in addition to all the intentional laughs the blog provides, I owe it for showing me the following scene, at which I laughed out loud for, oh, 2 minutes....

The only thing that would have made it funnier would have been Dr. Fate saying nothing at all.


The promo ad for the new Legion cartoon series:

Love Bouncing Boy, but my horrified gaze is riveted on the desecration of Brainiac 5, who's been reimagined as some sort of ... machine.

To which I can only say: