Saturday, March 31, 2007

Heroclix Theme Team: Crying for Canary

Crying for Canary (296 pt)

Rookie Ray (60 pt)
+ Damage Shield (10 pt)

Veteran Green Arrow (50 pt)

Veteran Ra's Al Ghul (108 pt)
+ Lazarus Pit (10 pt)

Veteran Dr. Mid-Nite (58 pt)

If you want a 400 point version of this team, just subtract either of the Feat Cards and add the Golden Age Starman Unique (106 pt).

If you've read the right comics, you'll know what the theme is...

Friday, March 30, 2007

Things That Made Me Happy...

in this week's comics.

  • Mister Terrific's and Dr. Mid-Nite's reaffirmation of faith ... in science. (JSA Classified).
  • A confused naked woman in the cockpit of a crashing jet plane. (Green Lantern)
  • Pa Kent piloting a starship somewhere in Ophiucus. (Action)
  • Snarky killer Lex Luthor robot that quotes Pliny the Younger (Catwoman)
  • Wonder Woman befuddled by the DC Metro system. (Wonder Woman)
  • Stompa versus Orion versus all surrounding property. (Firestorm)
  • Doc Magnus's latest little project. (52).
  • Ben Biblical Theory. (Those Wednesdays).
  • Wonder Woman crying on page 16 and kicking @$ on page 17 (WW).
  • The outer edge of Space B (52).
  • Jason's escape from the wormhole. (Firestorm)
  • Batman hiring semi-literate prostitutes. (Batman)

Thursday, March 29, 2007


I have Totaltoyz to make me custom Heroclix figures I want; but I need someone who can use Djundinni or such to create the maps that I want (which Xion can then print for me).

Mostly I want water maps (Atlantis, Sub Diego, New Venice, the beach, the ocean) for Aquaman & His Amazing Friends, but there are other maps I'd like. Please contact me if you think you can help! Thanks.


In preparation for the upcoming Free Comic Book Day, Big Monkey Comics is looking for any comic book creators who'd be interested in joining us at our new DC location that day to meet the fans.

We have a great space for socializing, in a lovely and lively neighborhood, easily accessible by auto or metro. If you're interested please contact!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

YOU MAY NOW COMMENT ON: DC Comics Presents #68

Vixen's bra is disintegrated
by the combined brainpower of the Wizard magazine staff.

You think her mind is flexible, Doc? You ain't seen nothin' yet!

So who is responsible for that truly monstrous panel
and the one that follows it?

Yes,World-Weary Jimmy Olsen, I suppose it is:
Gerry Conway.

You see, Washington's Big Monkey only seems to be a comic book store; that's just a cover. Actually, it's a DEO facility for storing dangerous cultural artifacts. Like the one that recently tried to break out of the containment fields in the storage tesseract that we keep beside the Elektra busts:

DC Comics Presents #68.

Vixen selects her Friday night date.

"Oh, my god! Vixen and the Guardian have been caught in a transporter accident!"

When Dale Gunn turned his attentions back to Zatanna,
Superman got sloppy seconds.

It ain't called the "Fortress of Solitude" for nothing, folks.

Vixen takes a wrong turn at NYCC

into the Cup O' Joe panel.

Supermodel/superhero killed in freak tanning bed accident.

Film at eleven.

"Gerry! Is that Wonder Wonder sneaking on to Doctor Domino's battleship?"


Pity this panel couldn't have taken up the entire page, instead of just two thirds.

God help us!
It's Christopher "Dangerous to Your Health" Walken,
the Surgeon General of Earth-3!

According to Dr. Walken,
the only cure for Teenage Tolkienitis is euthanasia.

I wonder whether zzaksticks work on Star Wars fans, too.

Poor Gerry;
he never quite understood that a comic book is not the same thing
as a filmic storyboard.

Didn't I see that chair at a recent JLA meeting?

Curt Swann...

never met a cigarette holder he didn't like to draw.

Vanilla Superman was no match
for Christopher Walken's Viagramatic headband

But Vixen just laughed and laughed... .

And the award for bravest man in the DCU goes to ...

Vixen's gynecologist.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The Greatest Villain Never Seen

Who's the most intriguing villain in the DC universe?

It seems like a tough call, in a world full of deformed psychokillers, mad scientists, and giant purple mind-controlling starfish from outer space. But I know who gets my vote:


Don't beat yourself up if you don't know who Gypo-Bax is. After all, he never got a Mego, never showed up in a crossover cameo, never even got mentioned in the DC Encyclopedia. In fact, we've never seen Gypo-Bax, we have no background information about Who He Is and How He Came To Be, and we have no knowledge of anything he has ever done.

We just know one thing about Gypo-Bax:

He's as evil as Sinestro.

Or even more evil.

Remember, the whole Green Lantern story is kind of a high school sitcom. Hal Jordan is an annoyingly macho brain-dead jock-type and Sinestro is his Reggie Von Mantle, who participates in annual Evil Popularity Contests. I mean, look at Sinestro:

You just know they called this guy "Screech" in high school; that's why he became evil and changed his named to Sinestro. But the only people he beats out in the popularity contest are the foreign students, Gny-Gryngg, Borbrydi, and Karo-Thynn. Sinestro may surely be evil, but he gets outwitted regularly by Hal Jordan, a man so dim he wears only loafers and boots because knots are so confusing.

Poor Sinestro; Gypo-Bax kicks his butt two years in a row.

Yes, as ridiculous as the Qwardian evil popularity contest was the first time they used it in a Green Lantern story, they used it again, compounding the absurdity. But it leaves a gaping hole in the Green Lantern tapestry...

Who is Gypo-Bax? What does he do that's so evil? Do Qwardian children see Gypo-Bax's face on their box of Meanies, the breakfast of evil champions? Does he dislike Hostess Fruit Pies with Real Fruit Filling? Is he the former DMV director on Oa?

Was/is Gypo-Bax actually more evil than Sinestro or just a lot more successful at it? And now that Sinestro is like Bill Gates, all powerful and able to make people work for him at Microsoft/The Sinestro Corps, does he take any revenge on Gypo-Bax? Does he send evil bug-people with tiny rings to eat G-B from the inside out? Does an aged Gypo-Bax, now in a wheelchair at the Old Evil Folks Home, get a invitation to the Corps, exult for a minute in his regained vitality and newfound power, only to have Sinestro show up and shout "PSYCH!" and snatch the ring back? Now THAT would be evil.

Come on, Geoff Johns. How can you pass up this opportunity?

Monday, March 26, 2007

Another Reason to Love Starman

Anyone can defeat a grizzly bear.
Except, you know, the Detroit League.

But Starman knows that the coolest way to take out a grizzly bear...

is to hit it with a tiger.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Special Powers!

As anyone who follows Heroclix at all probably already knows, sweeping (and in my opinion long overdue) improvements are being made to the game. These changes are designed to increase the comic book feel of the game and tilt game mechanics toward comic book accurate theme teams.

Yay! For more details see here .

Anyway, individual characters can now have unique powers, rather than just different combinations of standard powers. The Human Torch, for example, might have "Fire Wall", the ability to create a barrier that does damage to anyone adjacent to it.

Not only does will this allow figures to "act" even more like the characters they represent, it allows for the creation of characters that simply didn't translate very well onto the existing power dial system. Two characters of that type specifically mentioned in the announcement (and planned for the new Justice League set in August) are Deadman and the Phantom Stranger.

Oh, yes. The Phantom Stranger heroclix figure is coming.

There are so many "special powers" the Phantom Stranger deserves. In fact, the Phantom Stranger should have nothing BUT special powers. Hat Wearing. Lion Evaporation. Wrist Breaking. Chick Kissing. Speedboat Surfing. Ice Giant Clobbering. And, most important...

Smack Talk. As a free action, the Phantom Stranger can lower by 2 the Defense Value of any opposing figures within four spaces, just by judging them harshly. Any adjacent opposing figures also receive "Tongue Lashing", which does two clicks of penetrating damage.

With the further news that there'll be a Justice League set in August 07 and a Teen Titans set in Feb 08, each with 60 different characters in it, and the possibilities for new/redone characters with fabulous special powers is mindboggling...

All kidding aside, I'm convinced the JL set will contain a Vibe, since they're trying to represent as many of the various versions of the Justice League as possible. Imagine a Vibe who (in addition to standard powers like Force Blast, Quake, and Explosion) might have...

Breakdancing. Any turn where Vibe doesn't make an attack, he may as a free action use "Breakdancing" to distract any one opposing figure that can see him, preventing it from attacking anyone on the next turn.

Of course, it might up with something unfortunate like "Choked to Death by an Android" (Any opposing figure with the keyword "Robot" automatically succeeds when making a close combat attack against Vibe).

Imagine the other fun possibilities, such as:

Determinism. Anywhere within Supergirl's range, re-roll abilities like Probability Control do not function.

Ghostbreaker. Any figure within view of Dr. Thirteen loses its Mystic Team Ability.

What else can you think of?

Friday, March 23, 2007

The Return of DC's Scariest Image!

Sneakier than Batman!
Faster than the Flash!
More terrifying than the Emerald Eye of Ekron!


You know, when I look

at pictures like these

(and the hundreds more

just like them),

I get this odd feeling.

Almost as if

I'm looking at a mass murderer

before he snaps

and kills all his friends

and anyone else he can get his hands on.

But, ha ha, that's silly!

Because it's just Hal Jordan... !

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Creative Writing Assignment!

Attention, class!

You have one week to write a plot contextualizing this panel:

Your synopsis must identify the hand, the foot, explicate the word balloon, and succinctly outline the plot up to and following the panel.

At the end of one week, I will reveal the actual story, which, I guarantee, is much much worse than anything you can possibly come up with.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

50 Reasons to Buy Aquaman #50

1. Calamari meetings.
2. The Mystery of Who "Issitoq the Narwahl" Is and How He Came To Be.
3. The Return of Topo.
4. Horny Mera.
5. The Return of Cal Durham
6. Tempest's new look.
7. The promise of "hatches" in the sea.
8. Lot of things happening. Fast. Lots and lots.
9. Super Ultra Mega.
10. Rodunn, wearing pants.
11. The trail of bubbles.
12. The splitting of Mera's head.
13. The broken sword.
14. King Shark's farewell.
15. The sleeping god of Dyss.
16. "Great waves!"
17. The new mayor of Sub Diego.
18. The globularity of Mera's breasts.
19. Coleoidiforms.
20. "Oh ... crap."
21. Righteous tribal shoulder tatoos.
22. "Suffering shad!"
23. Atsiul's squadron faring poorly.
24. Raise Sub Diego...!?
25. Vengeance sworn!
26. Old scientists with boys in sailor suits.
27. Organ grinders' monkeys.
28. "We eat."
29. The glowing pointy stick of doom.
30. The executioner's victim.
31. Poetry by Tempest!
32. Albart's early histories.
33. Narwhal's fabulous hair-do.
34. "I inked myself."
35. A sword in the stone reference I actually enjoyed!
36. Innovative monster-bashing technique.
37. The continued ambiguity of the gender of Garth's child.
38. The Spear of Dyss versus the Sword of Atlantis.
39. Sealife discussing the fashion challenges of spinelessness.
40. Goofus's sea-asthma.
41. The ruins of Poseidonis.
42. Topo's full name.
43. "After this issues troupe of new character appears, a pack of old ones returns!"
44. Neos, a.k.a., "Squidville".
45. The eyes -- and diet-- of the Sea Bishop.
46. "You need to work on your small talk, forky."
47. Bad guys getting eaten.
48. Nice coloring/inking!
49. "We have far to go ... and you have people to kill."
50. Enjoyable credits.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


Last night, during our Heroclix game, Devon reminded me that tomorrow is the day Aquaman 50 comes out, by new Aquaman writer Tad Williams (Hi, Tad!). Do buy it, won't you? Tad has some, heh, interesting plans, and I don't want them to be cut short by falling sales... .

So, to celebrate the start of Tad's run, I've made something special (again!) for Heroclix players who are Aquaman fans.

If people who love Heroclix deserve special love and people who love Aquaman deserve special love, then who deserves special love more than Heroclix players who love Aquaman? And by "special love" I don't mean you-know-what ... .

Here at the Absorbascon, we've helped them out before with Fishclix and Even More Fishclix. To that, we'll now add the Water Map Rules and the Aquatic Objects.

The Water Map Rules are kind of like the Battlefield Condition Card "Atlantis Rising", except that Atlantis Rising clearly describes water flooding a land area, whereas the Water Map Rules describes an area on the ocean floor.

The Water Map Rules
  • Using any regular Heroclix map, treat all terrain as water terrain (including the elevated terrain).
  • All Aquatic characters are allowed to soar, and must soar to traverse hindering terrain or access elevated terrain.
  • Aquaman has Flight.
  • Non-aquatic characters are permitted in the game at the discretion of the players, but their speed and range (including range for "mental powers" like Outwit, Perplex, and Probability Control) are halved.
  • When a non-aquatic character attacks or makes an attack-like action (such as Incapacitate), they must choose to reduce either their Attack Value or Damage Value by one.
  • Oh, and yes, Aquatic characters may used the "Submerged" Feat Card. Heh heh.

That'll put those stinking airbreathers in their place! Sure, you can put Superman underwater or get out the Bat-scuba gear, but the rules aren't in your favor if you do. And if you're one of those people who can't manage without Running Shot, then just forget about it! Leave Deadshot in the box and start practicing with your Rookie Animal Man.

There aren't a lot of gumball machines and hotdog stands on the ocean floor, so here are some object tokens for use with the Water Map Rules. The dark rings are heavy objects and the light rings are light objects.

Now Aquaman can anchor your team and your opponent's! Feel free to use your best Popeye cackle when you crack open Halo's skull with this baby.

Your Koryak mod will have a better shot at doing damage if he's holding the cannon!

Girls will admire your Chest when you use it to make your foe a Dead Man!

It's not just for show!

Set a course for your enemies and they'll learn to steer clear of the wheel!

Use this club to wail on your foes! They'll be Blue and call you "Killer"!


What better way to "conch" an opposing figure?

My evil mastermind went to Sub Diego, and all I got was this stupid Dead Panda!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Sunday, March 18, 2007

"Haloes belong with the angels, kiddo..."

As some of you may know, the fabulous new DC Heroclix set, Origin, came out recently. In my part of town, we celebrated publicly with a marquee tournament at Big Monkey, whose highlights included a player pulling one of the four extremely rare "chase" figures (specifically, Hippolyta).

Privately, we debuted the set at my house last Monday with a heavyweight grudge match between Devon "Charge is My Middle Name" Sanders and Glen "My Plan Can Only Fail If I Roll a Two" Weldon.

It's always a clash of styles between those two. Devon lurks behind trees, then leaps out screaming to smack you in the face with some sacrificial berserker; once the damage is done he sends out his Untouched Secondary Attacker he's been holding in reserve to KO whoever remains. Meanwhile, Glen, who was graduated My Great Attack-a from the Wile E. Coyote School of Strategy, is preparing byzantine four-part maneuvers involving a minimum of three mental powers, two feat cards, one team ability, and a Dane Dorrance pog -- schemes so brilliant, in fact, that they can fail only if Glen rolls a 5 or less twice in a row, which he does almost every turn.

When Devon laid out his team on the board -- Wildcat, Hawkman, Catman, Blackhawk, and Mister Miracle -- he feigned to be innocently composing a team entirely of figures from the new set. But it was obvious what he was really up to: it was one of his Testosterone Teams. If you know Devon's style of play, his merely placing those figures on the board said: "I am the Dale Gunn of Earth Prime and your team is about to be drowned in Aqua Velva."

Glen, just as subtly, said simply, "Oh; well, then..." and placed his team on the board:

Supergirl, Wonder Girl, Triplicate Girl, and Halo, saying, in essence, "I can trounce you with a team of teenage blondes."

Oh, it was on. Very on.

I knew what I needed to do; I removed the breakables, sent the dog to the bedroom, and got a pad and pen to take notes with.

The Girls dealt the Boys a swift initial smackdown. In their opening salvos, Halo and Supergirl kayoed Devon's avatar, Hawkman; meanwhile, Glen, master of psychological warfare, sipped his cosmo and chatted about manga influences in Miss Martian's costume design. The whole thing couldn't have been better calculated to demoralize Devon, although I thought Glen went too far when he blew his nose on an issue of DC Presents Lady Cop.

Who needs to go see 300?, I thought; this is a battle. Glen's Girls had additional successes; Halo blasted Wildcat for 3 clicks and Blackhawk for 5, proving that war is Halo.

But, much to his credit, Devon kept his cool, ingeniously using Mr. Miracle to make the Girls vulnerable even to attacks by his weaker characters, like Catman and Blackhawk. A lesser man would have given up; I surely would have, and at one point I urged Devon to concede that he had lost. But he persevered and, through clever use of his figures, wound up with his last one, Wildcat, kayoing Glen's last figure, the upstart Halo.

The moral?

Heroclix is more fun when you play theme teams, rather than just teams designed perfectly for winning.

What? You were expecting, "Never give up; never surrender"?

Anyway, this post introduces a new feature here at the Absorbascon: Theme Teams on Parade, in which I will offer Heroclix Theme Teams of my own devising. Look for it.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Things That Made Me Happy...

Let me start by mentioning some things that have made me happy in the comics blogosphere: the new blogs linked in my sidebar.

"Facedown in the Gutters"
is by a faithful and witty Absorbacommando, Jon C., formerly of Colchester, Connecticut. He's moved to DC recently and is now a favorite customer at Big Monkey Comics. His blog is in the midst of an elimination tournament of Marvel superheroes called "Old School Civil War"; I find his Dr. Strange theory very compelling!

"Jon Hex Lives"
is by a longtime Big Monkey regular, Jonnie, who's low-key, dry sense of humor is a much beloved feature of our Wednesday Night Party. He's made the switch from LiveJournal to actual bloghood, so please give him a visit.

"Those Wednesdays" deserves to update more frequently, when it does, it's a must-read. Currently, it's fascinating both me and Devon with its theories about the large (VERY VERY LARGE) scale scope of DC upcoming crossovers. The blog is written by Ben H., whom we are proud to have as a new employee at Big Monkey.

Things that made me happy in my comics themselves this week included:

  • DC's big honking house ads for Countdown. That is fun; that is how to build excitement!
  • Absorbafave the Phantom Stranger showing up in Tales of The Unexpected to bring some class to the gorefest that is The Spectre. I can't think of anyone else who could talk smack to the Big Guy like PS does in this issue.
  • Wonder Woman as a source of inspiration to other women, courtesy of Will Pfeiffer; no wonder he's one of my favorite writers!
  • THANK YOU KURT BUSIEK! I love the Prankster and you are person who knows how to write him best.
  • Dr. Sivana in 52. What makes people like Veronica Cale wet themselves with fear makes Thaddeus laugh in thrilled anticipation.
  • Atom-Smasher outmaneuvers Amanda Waller.
  • Robin in his own title. Thanks to Beechen, Robin is both very human and vulnerable, yet still astoundingly impressive and just cool.

Friday, March 16, 2007


This weekend, get smashed with your favorite superhero, courtesy of!


33 cl Battery® energy drink
4 cl Gordon's® gin
10 ice cubes

Mix all. Serve cold.
Serve in: Highball Glass. Rated:
9.5 / 10
4.0% (8 proof); 229 calories; 34.70 carbohydrates


1 oz gin
3/4 oz dry vermouth
1/2 oz apricot brandy
1 oz mandarin juice
1 tsp grenadine syrup

Shake with a glassful of broken ice and pour unstrained into an old-fashioned glass. Add a speared cherry, and serve.

Serve in: Old-Fashioned Glass. Rated:9.7 / 10

19.0% (38 proof); 158 calories; 10.50 carbohydrates

Wonder Woman

2 oz Midori® melon liqueur
2 oz peach schnapps
3 oz orange juice
1 oz pineapple juice
2 oz cranberry juice

Carefully layer ingredients, in order, into an ice-filled hurricane glass. Serve unstirred, garnished with a cherry.

Serve in: Hurricane Glass. Rated: 6.2 / 10

9.0% (18 proof); 390 calories; 56.90 carbohydrates

Flash Cola

1 oz cherry brandy
1/2 oz maraschino liqueur
4 oz cola

Pour the cherry brandy, maraschino liqueur and cola into a highball glass almost filled with ice cubes. Stir well, garnish with a maraschino cherry, and serve.

Serve in: Highball Glass

8.0% (16 proof); 166 calories; 26.80 carbohydrates

Green Lantern

1/3 part Midori® melon liqueur
1/3 part fresh orange juice
1/3 part 7-Up® soda

Mix all ingredients together in order, shake once and pour into a glass.

Serve in: Hurricane Glass. Rated: 9.0 / 10

Mighty Martian

1/2 oz Absolut® vodka
1/4 oz Midori® melon liqueur
1/4 oz DeKuyper® Sour Apple Pucker schnapps

Pour all contents into a cocktail shaker with ice and shake well. Strain into a shot glass and serve.

Serve in: Shot Glass. Rated:9.0 / 10
29.0% (58 proof); 71 calories; 4.80 carbohydrates